Thomas Vermaelen believes Jack Wilshere has beefed up during his time on the sidelines and looks forward to having the midfielder back on the pitch soon.
Praising the midfielder for his focus during 14 months out injured with both Achilles and knee problems, the captain made clear that the England international would be a real boost to Arsenal’s quest for trophies.
“When I was out with injury, I was in the gym a lot,” the Belgian told Arsenal.com. “Jack was in the gym even longer working hard on his weaknesses.
“You can see that now in his body on the pitch. For me he looks much stronger and that’s good. Sometimes you have to take the positives when you’re out for more than a year and I think he’s done that.”
“You know what he did in his first full season for Arsenal – he was amazing. For me, he can be one of the best midfielders in the world. He has the potential for that.
“I’m really happy he’s coming back now. He’s working on his match fitness and that’s the most important thing. I think in the future [he] will lift the team.”
Wilshere wasn’t the only member of the squad on the receiving end of kind words from the Verminator. Reflecting on the vast improvement of Per Mertesacker, he continued:
“In the first season players need time to adapt and with him he had a big injury at the end which meant a few months off so that wasn’t good. But now you can see he’s adjusted really well to the Premier League. Because he’s so clever on the pitch it makes it easier for him.
“The first couple of months (this could be something else, tough to tell from Vermaelen’s accent) he’s been really amazing I think. He’s a really experienced player, he reads the game really well and for us he’s an important player.”