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Wilshere recognizes quality when he sees one

Jack Wilshere says Alexandre Lacazette looked like he’d never been away after the France international made a scoring return to first team action.

The striker won and converted an 89th-minute penalty after coming on as a second half substitute as Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners against Stoke City at the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also helped himself to a brace although the Gunners laboured against the relegation-threatened Potters until Lacazette came off the bench on 61 minutes.

“I’m buzzing for Laca,” Wilshere told Arsenal Player at full time.

“I know how hard he’s worked. He didn’t take his injury well, but nobody does. He was down but he knew what it takes to come back.

“He’s worked hard and only trained a couple of days, but he was out there and looked like he’s not been away. It’s good for the team, good for him and I’m happy for him.”

Wilshere went on to point the finger at the long gap between games – the Gunners last played 16 days ago against Watford – as a reason for their lackadaisical performance.

“When they sit deep it’s hard to break them down, and you have to be at your best on the ball and I don’t think we were in the first half,” he reflected.

“Sometimes it’s like that after an international break, it takes 45 minutes to blow the cobwebs off.

“I think in the second half we tried to up it and as the game went on, they got tired, we upped it and our attacking play was too much for them.

“We knew they were going to sit in to hit us on the counter. You have to set yourself up so that if you lose the ball, you’re ready to press straight away.

“In the first half we weren’t really doing that. It was more stretched and we kept losing cheap balls, but in the second half we were much better.”