Jack's the lad for the World Cup: Owen Coyle backs Arsenal youngster Wilshere for England honours

14 April 2010 12:11
Jack the lad: Wilshere has impressed on loan at Bolton Wanderers

Teenage sensations could find themselves thin on the ground when Fabio Capello names his 23-man World Cup squad on June 1.

The Italian mentality is one of generally favouring experience over youth, but if Bolton manager Owen Coyle is to be believed then Capello could be missing a trick should he fail to give on-loan star Jack Wilshere some serious consideration.

'I am biased because I work with Jack daily, but I would take him with England,' said Coyle of the 18-year-old midfielder prior to last night's clash with Chelsea.

'England are already blessed with some top midfielders but if you are looking for one to go and be earmarked for the future then it is him. There is no-one else like him at 18.'

To be fair to his full-time manager, touting Wilshere as a future England regular is nothing new. Arsene Wenger was banging the drum when his prodigy was just 16 and to give the Arsenal manager his due, he knows a decent young midfielder when he sees one.

In 2008, after Wilshere had starred in Arsenal's Carling Cup thrashings of Sheffield United and Wigan, Wenger was tipping his youngster for a trip to South Africa.

As tests of international credentials go, you can't get much tougher than battles against England stalwart Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and John Mikel Obi.

But with Capello looking on from the stands, Wilshere was soon dragging Obi into places he did not want to go.

Battle-ready: Wilshere (left) has not been out of place in the top flight

There is plenty of filling out to be done, and Wilshere is certainlynot the tallest, but that never did Lionel Messi any harm. And despitethe powerhouse nature of Chelsea's midfield, his character means he isnot one to be fazed by occasions such as trips to Stamford Bridge.

His progress has been accelerated by the loan move to Bolton, but itmay be that Wilshere will need to return to the Arsenal fold before histalents can be truly expressed.

Consequently this summer's World Cup may have come a little toosoon, and there are those who would consider Everton's Jack Rodwell alittle further down the road in terms of development.

But of the five England squads announced for either World Cups orEuropean Championships since 1998 only that for the 2002 trip to Japanand South Korea failed to feature a single teenager.

And of those that did travel during that period, Rio Ferdinand,Gareth Barry, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon and MichaelOwen, only Owen has no chance of being included this time.

If Wilshere can yet manage to force a late change in Capello'sthinking when it comes to youth, the signs are he could become part ofthe England set-up for many tournaments to come.

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Source: Daily_Mail