Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere says a new gluten-free diet has put him in the best shape of his career after reestablishing himself in Arsene Wenger’s first team.
Wilshere, 26, starred in a 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea on Wednesday, opening the scoring with a thumping close-range finish.
It was not enough to earn Arsenal victory, with Eden Hazard’s penalty and a late goal from Marcos Alonso putting Chelsea in front, before Hector Bellerin added a final twist in stoppage time.
The match was Wilshere’s sixth consecutive 90 minutes in the Premier League after a nightmare few years blighted by injury.
“I have been dairy and gluten-free now for six weeks,” Wilshere told the London Evening Standard.
“I feel that I look better, I have certainly lost a bit of weight, and am leaner. I am probably fitter as well. I feel sharper and quicker on the pitch. I feel like I can last longer.
“For example, at the end of the Chelsea game when we scored the second goal, I felt, ‘Come on, we can go on again here’. I was pressing them and felt good.
“I know my body well, I know the right foods to eat and the best way to recover. I’m also getting the right amount of sleep. I’ve learned that over the years and I think I’m in the best shape I have ever been.”
Wilshere, benefiting from an injury to midfielder Aaron Ramsey, told Sky Sports after the match there had been “no progress” in talks regarding an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
England manager Gareth Southgate has challenged Wilshere to play regularly for Arsenal before thinking about an international recall.
He last played for the national side in the defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.