MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 16:51:01

Gareth Southgate: 'England door not closed on Jack Wilshere'

Gareth Southgate insists that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere remains in his England plans, but only if he starts getting more playing time at his club side.

England boss Gareth Southgate has suggested that he is willing to give Jack Wilshere a chance to prove himself ahead of the World Cup, but only if he features more regularly for Arsenal.

The 25-year-old, back in North London following a season's loan at Bournemouth in 2016-17, last featured for the Three Lions in their surprise Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland last summer.

Wilshere stood out for Arsenal in their recent Europa League win against BATE Borisov, though he has yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this term.

Following another abject team display against Slovenia on Thursday, there have been suggestions in the British press that Southgate is ready to turn to Wilshere for next month's friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

Probed on the issue on Saturday afternoon, the England manager told reporters: "Everyone knows the quality Jack has. But he's got to be playing regularly. He has the quality to play at highest level."

Southgate also confirmed that Jack Butland will start in goal for England against Lithuania in their final World Cup qualifier, while Harry Winks - a late call-up - is in line for his senior debut.

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A shaven-headed Jack Wilshere in action during the EFL Cup game between Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers on September 20, 2017
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