By Jay Jaffa at Emirates Stadium
Michael Laudrup sounded a warning to Jack Wilshere after watching the Arsenal playmaker condemn his Swansea team to a 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday night.
The youngster stole the headlines with a sublime 20-yard volley in the closing stages of the contest, but Laudrup has urged the media to show patience with the midfielder – suggesting that Wilshere cannot be deemed world class until he plays more games at the top level.
Speaking to reporters after Swansea’s defeat, Laudrup said: “We’re talking about a young player who had an injury coming back but I think he has a lot of potential.
“You don’t want to push your young players too much. Sometimes people are a little too fast, too quick with the big words. We have to let them grow, because young players can always improve, that goes for Jack Wilshere too.
“He has a lot of potential and can be a very, very good player… Don’t put that pressure on him.
“To be world class you need more at the highest level. We are talking about a 21-year-old and we’re already talking about him being the best.”
Wilshere’s manager Arsene Wenger took a different approach however, as he analysed the match-winning performance of a player who had recently spent 17 months sidelined with injury.
“He was outstanding tonight,” Wenger told reporters as he discussed the possibility of keeping him in the No.10 role. “He played in a different position, higher up. It suits him well, we had a better team balance, he created chance after chance.
“He is a complete midfielder, he can defend and attack. He is a guy who can dribble and give a final ball – the closer he is to the goal, the better it is for him.
“He has quality and enthusiasm, and love for the game – that is the most important thing for me. After that I can continue to keep him reasonably fit and safe.”
Wenger also confirmed that Wilshere was 100 per cent fit, adding: “He is back, I think so.
“I had no experience of a player who had been out for 17 months in my whole career.
“Honestly if we could get Jack back for January 1 we had done well – but he was ahead of what I could imagine.”