The Arsenal manager has hailed the 21-year-old’s commitment and desire to win, and believes these ingredients are essential in helping him reach his potential for club and country
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has highlighted the importance of Jack Wilshere’s physicality and mental strength after his much-praised performance for England against Brazil.
The 21-year-old made his first start for the Three Lions since 2011 due to injury in midweek, earning plaudits for his performance against the five-time world champions before being named man of the match.
And with Wilshere tipped to become a prominent fixture in Roy Hodgson’s team – with Steven Gerrard recently describing his potential as “scary” – Wenger feels maintaining the same level of enthusiasm is essential for the future of both England and the player.
“The most important thing for me will be to keep his passion for the game, and keep the attitude of wanting to become a better player,” Wenger told reporters.
“You make your career and you are a bit special [because of] your qualities and that is one of the qualities Jack has: that commitment, that desire to win.
“You should not take that off him because he would not be the same player anymore. You can only be a great player if you respect who you really are and that is what makes him special.
“If he keeps these two ingredients – which is not always easy – he can become a fantastic player. He already is one, but he can become one of the best in the world.”
Wilshere played down the praise for his display against Brazil, instead attempting to deflect the focus on his team-mates’ performances – namely Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
And Wenger hopes, after recent troubles, the youngster can keep fit enough to reach his potential for the national side.
Wenger continued: “The influence he has today on the England national team already is absolutely fantastic – let’s just hope that he does not have any more injury problems in the near future. I believe he can handle all the rest.
“He is fit on the ground, he loves football, he loves to play and he loves to improve so that is very good news for England.”