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Arsenal 16:00 Man City

Wilshere wants Arsenal starts

Young Gunner looking to shine next season

Last Updated: 24/04/10 12:17pm

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Wilshere: Ready to make breakthrough

Wilshere: Ready to make breakthrough

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Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere is hoping to force his way into the starting line-up when he returns from his loan spell at Bolton.

The highly-rated 18-year-old has been a regular for the Trotters since making a temporary switch to the Reebok Stadium in January.

And Wilshere says he wants to continue playing first-team football when he rejoins his parent club ahead of the start of next season.

"I don't really want to go back and be on the bench the whole time. I want to play," he told The Times.

"I had a good pre-season last summer but didn't really play once the season started apart from the odd Carling Cup game.


"I felt, and the manager felt, it was better to come here, get some experience and get up to speed."

The attacking midfielder realises the hype that will surround any English player that shines at such a young age.

But Wilshere insists that he is not letting press talk distract his game and regularly takes guidance from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on how to remain focused on football.

He added: "There has always been that thing with the English boys where the press say: 'He's the next big thing', like with Theo (Walcott) really.

"He (Wenger) talks to you about that: not letting you get above yourself, keeping your head straight, lifestyle, not getting too big for your boots."

Wilshere also believes that he is just one of a host of talented England youngsters, pointing to the quality present in the nation's Under 21 team as a sign of a bright future.

Strong group

"I think this is a strong age group in England," he said.

"People talk about the foreign kids in the academies, but you look at Arsenal and it's mostly English - me, Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

"The (England) Under 21s are a good team.

"You've got Andy Carroll, John Bostock, who was playing for Crystal Palace at 15, Tom Cleverley, who's been on loan from Man Utd at Watford.

"I couldn't even tell you what footed Jack Rodwell is. People forget he's only 19.

"I think it's something different to what we've had before because they're all technical players.

"It has been drummed into us since we were young, especially at Arsenal."

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