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Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Sunday, 9 August 2009 18:41 UK

Wilshere in frame for World Cup

Jack Wilshere
Wilshere scored two goals in Arsenal's 3-0 pre-season win over Rangers

England coach Fabio Capello has hinted that Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere could be promoted to the England senior squad for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Wilshere, 17, has impressed Capello with a string of fine performances in pre-season, particularly his man-of-the-match displays in the Emirates Cup.

"He surprised me," said Capello. "I saw him twice in the Carling Cup last year and he has improved a lot now.

"We have time before we have to decide if he will go to South Africa."

Wilshere was not included in Capello's squad for England's friendly against Holland on 12 August, but he is set to play in next month's Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.

The 24-team tournament takes place between 24 September and 14 October with England in Group D alongside Ghana, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.

"We have time to look at him," said Capello. "It will depend a lot on whether he plays for Arsenal. He's in the squad for the Under-20s and will go with them to Egypt and that will be very important."


Wilshere joined Arsenal as a nine-year-old in 2001 and rose through the ranks before making his competitive debut against Blackburn at Ewood Park in 2008.

The left-footed attacking midfielder was a regular in Arsenal's Carling Cup side last season and also helped the club's Under-18 team win the Premier Academy League and FA Youth Cup.

He featured in six of Arsenal's seven pre-season games, with his performances against Atletico Madrid and Rangers at the Emirates Stadium catching Capello's eye.

"He plays without fear, with confidence," said the Italian. "And the other players passed the ball always to him. This is not normal to be so young and so good."

Wilshere, who Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says reminds him of a young Wayne Rooney, will be 18 when the World Cup in South Africa arrives.

It Capello did pick him for the tournament, it would echo Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to include Theo Walcott in his squad for the 2006 World Cup.

Walcott, a team-mate of Wilshere's at Arsenal, was 17 at the time of his shock call-up and had not even started a Premier League game for the Gunners.

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see also
Capello opts against Owen recall
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England 6-0 Andorra
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Kazakhstan 0-4 England
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England lose James for qualifiers
18 May 09 |  Portsmouth
Wilshere extends Arsenal contract
02 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal's young guns - Jack Wilshere
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