Wilshere could face 'burnout' if over-exerted, warns Wenger

The Gunners boss believes the 21-year-old must be managed effectively to ensure he is not overwhelmed by physical and mental pressure at such an early stage in his development

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed concern over Jack Wilshere’s heavy workload, insisting the midfielder must not be over-exerted at such an early stage in his career.

The 21-year-old returned from more than a year out with injury in October and has starred regularly for the Gunners since, while he also played the full 90 minutes of England’s 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night.

And Wenger has warned that Wilshere must be managed effectively or he could be overwhelmed by the physical and mental pressures of top-level football.

“It is not just the physical aspect, but the mental pressure every time he plays,” Wenger told reporters. “We will have to manage him well physically to make sure he doesn’t face that burnout.

“I had in fact expected Jack to play only a part of the game on Wednesday, but it didn’t happen and because of his quality he will be exposed to that, the overuse of his quality, and you can understand that.

“He will have to be managed like everyone else. Let’s not forget that he is only 21 now, and he starts his career really because he was out for 17 months.”

Wenger does not want Wilshere to be restricted and risk stalling his progression, however, and believes he is on course to become one of the best players in the world.

“You do not want to set any limit on the development of any player, especially when he plays at that level at his age,” Wenger said.

“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.

“If he keeps these two ingredients that are not always easy, he can of course become a fantastic player. He is already one, but he can become one of the best in the world.”

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