Wenger raises burnout fears over Wilshere
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned Jack Wilshere runs the risk of burnout if his duties for both club and country are not carefully managed in the years ahead. Wilshere, 21, returned from more than a year out injured in October but is already being heralded as an integral part of England's future following his man-of-the-match display in the 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Wenger knows the progress of the combative midfielder must be carefully handled if both Arsenal and England are to see the best of the player over the long term. "It is not just the physical aspect, but the mental pressure every time he plays," said Wenger. "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," Wenger added. "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 is happy to allow Wilshere, who joined Arsenal at the age of nine, to see his game develop naturally - albeit amid the glare of heightened public expectation. "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," said Wenger. "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."