Looking like he's never seen a razor, Arsenal fans glimpse Stevenage-born Jack Andrew G. Wilshere as he makes his first-team bow aged just 16 in a traditional pre-season friendly against Barnet back in July 2008.
It's reported that Arsenal's youth-team coaches liken Wilshere - a left-footed attacking midfielder - to Lionel Messi. Some say he's more similar to Alexander Hleb. Either way, he's soon training with the first team.
After taking the honour of becoming Arsenal's youngest-ever league debutant (16 years & 256 days) from Cesc Fabreagas, Wilshere stylishly scores from 20 yards against Sheffield United in the Carling Cup on his full debut.
After starring in that stunning 6-0 win, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger compares his latest prodigy to one of the club's greats - Liam Brady - and quickly endows Wilshere with a Champions League debut against Dynamo Kiev.
Wilshere (centre of bottom row) played for England Under-16s when he was 14. After this European Championship Under-17 tournament in Germany, he is named as one of 10 future stars to watch out for.
Four months after signing his first professional contract, Wilshere is back orchestrating Arsenal youngsters - and scoring a perfect first-leg penalty - as they seek victory over Liverpool in the prestigious FA Youth Cup final.
Drawing on rich if limited first-team experience, Wilshere leads Arsenal's next generation to a crushing 4-1 first-leg victory at the Emirates before his swagger inspires a 2-1 win at Anfield - and the trophy.
Back among a first team who appreciate his vast range of skills and with the wider public now getting wind of a growing phenomenon, Wilshere scores against Rangers in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament of 2009.
Displaying his low centre of gravity against Greek defender Panagiotis Tachtsidis in September 2009, Wilshere - just five foot seven inches tall - quickly graduates to Stuart Pearce's England's Under-21 team while aged 17.
Wilshere is embroiled in the controversial Carling Cup sending-off of West Brom winger Jerome Thomas, after the former Arsenal trainee grabs him by the neck amid alleged provocation during a 2-0 win in September 2009.
Weeks later, West Ham supporter Wilshere, pictured celebrating a goal with Newcastle forward Andy Carroll, is an influential and integral part of an England Under-21 side that romps to a 6-3 victory over Macedonia.
Despite his attacking nature and small stature, Wilshere proves he can pull his weight in the heat of a midfield battle as Manchester City's Craig Bellamy goes down under a tackle during a Carling Cup quarter-final defeat.
With group stage qualification assured, Wenger lets Wilshere taste more testing Champions League action against Olympiakos in Athens. Team-mate Mikael Silvestre describes him as "very tricky and very mature".
But Wenger, who likes to school his best prospects with meticulous planning, lets rapidly-developing Wilshere go out on loan to Bolton in January 2010 so that he gain more regular first-team football in the Premier League.
"His dribbling technique is outstanding, and he has goals in his locker," said Liam Brady of his Arsenal Academy product, who notches his first Premier League strike in Bolton's 2-1 win over West Ham at Upton Park.
"He can play anywhere," says Wenger of Wilshere, pictured at Old Trafford in March 2010. "He's a quiet boy, very determined, very focused. It's always difficult when you're the manager of a boy with talent like that."
Wilshere makes 14 appearances for Bolton during his five-month loan spell, helping the crisis-hit club steady the ship after winter discontent and keeping potential relegation at bay as Owen Coyle's team eventually finish 14th.
... a feat which has Coyle insisting that England manager Fabio Capello could easily take Wilshere to the World Cup finals in South Africa, a stage more familiar to world stars such as Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and John Terry.
Capello doesn't take Wilshere. But he's back at Arsenal, where, in another pre-season Emirates Cup match - this time a 3-2 win against Celtic in early August - he wows the crowd with a classy man-of-the-match display.
With Wenger now believing that an England call-up would not faze Wilshere, under pressure Capello can't resist the urge to try out what some believe may be the most talented English midfield youngster since Paul Gascoigne.
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