England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce expects Jack Wilshere to develop during the European Championship qualifiers in the same way as Theo Walcott during the last campaign.
Pearce made Walcott the youngest England Under-21 player when he handed him a debut three years ago, and Wilshere is the latest Arsenal prodigy he is nurturing at international level.
Walcott then forced his way into Fabio Capello's full squad and scored his famous hat-trick against Croatia a year ago, with Wilshere now on the England manager's radar and rated as having an
outside chance of playing a part in next year's World Cup.
"One player gets singled out of my squad, normally a very young
one," said Pearce, ahead of the under-21s starting their qualifiers in Macedonia on Friday and Greece four days later. "It was Theo, Theo, Theo all the time. What we said then was 'give Theo time to mature'.
"The same will happen to Jack. He's got to try to win a place in this under-21 team at the moment - and he's got to try to win a place in Arsenal's team at the moment. That will happen in time, there is no doubt about that because the boy has some fantastic talent."