Arsene Wenger was eager to temper expectations for Jack Wilshere after the Arsenal midfielder made a promising return to the Emirates in the Gunners’ 1-0 EFL Cup win over Doncaster Rovers.

Wilshere was starting his first match for Arsenal since May 2016 after a season on loan at Bournemouth that ended in his latest major injury, a leg break from which he has only recently recovered.

But with all the appropriate caveats that come with a display against a side struggling in the lower reaches of League One Wilshere looked a cut above most players on both sides, dictating play alongside Mohamed Elneny and providing a string of dangerous through balls for Alexis Sanchez to feast off.

Equally encouraging for Arsenal boss Wenger will be that Wilshere lasted the full 90 minutes, the first time he has managed that for the Gunners since September 23 2014.

However Wenger was eager to “put this game into perspective” and hinted it may be some time before the 25-year-old was competing with Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey for a starting role in his strongest side.

“I wanted to leave him on to give him 90 minutes and overall I think it was an ideal game for him to gain confidence and fitness,” Wenger said.