By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has revealed he retains total faith in Jack Wilshere as the Arsenal talisman prepares to sign a new contract.
The injury-plagued midfielder has been sidelined the entire season after fracturing his shin in training the day before the Community Shield in August.
But, as revealed by Football Insider, he will be handed a new contract that will extend his time with the club he joined as an eight-year-old.
Wenger retains full faith in the Gunners talisman despite some off-field controversies and the series of serious injuries that have stalled his progress since his breakthrough 2010-11 campaign.
Wilshere’s current £90,000-a-week agreement has two-and-a-half years left but the Londoners do not want to risk a situation where he could be antagonised into pushing for a transfer.
“He has two years left and I want Jack to stay here,” explained the Arsenal manager at his media conference on Wednesday. “He is a special case because he is a special talent and he comes out of the club. And he is an England international and I hope his injuries will stop at some stage.
“I’ve spoken to him about the injuries because when you love football and at his age, when you wake up in the morning and you can’t practice that’s terrible. They need support and I try to give it to him.
“But he is strong and he is dealing with that. He started at 17 and played every single game and suddenly it stopped. So I believe that can make you stronger.
“You know I’m an optimist and I always think: ‘OK it’s true that he hasn’t played many games in recent years.’ But I hope at some stage that will stop because he is young and I hope I’m right.”
The injury-plagued midfielder is ready to commit to a deal that will lift his salary to £110,000-a-week and run until 2021.
Wenger expects Wilshere to be out until February after a series of setbacks in his recovery from the fractured left fibula.