Arsene Wenger will be pleased to hear he will not have to battle England U21 manager Stuart Pearce over his prodigy Jack Wilshere for this summers up and coming European Under-21 Championships, with Roy Hodgson having the final say on the matter.
Both Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are well and truly in the picture for the senior side and initially Pearce planned to use the former U21 stars this summer.
Arsene Wenger is naturally opposed to the idea and they looked set for another tug of war match over the 21-year-old star midfielder who will greatly benefit from a rest over the summer after his blistering return from a 14-month spell on the sidelines.
Pearce is set to take the junior Three Lions side to Israel for the U21 European tournament in June, but he has conceded he will be unable to call on the services of two of his previous, most established star players.
The Englishman revealed the details of his conversation with senior manager Roy Hodgson:
I sat and watched the Brazil game and saw he [Wilshere] is key to the seniors. We had a brief chat and Jack and Danny won’t be considered as they are gaining their experience through the seniors. I think we always want to go to major tournaments with the best players.
The likes of Wilshere and maybe Welbeck, they maybe won’t be considered because they are so key for the senior team but I think anyone who is not an initial first starter with the seniors they must come into the category because if not you cannot win anything at these tournaments. I know the magnitude of what the opposition come with and their better players but I have been barking on about that for the last six years and I will continue to do that and hopefully someone will listen to me somewhere down the line.
If you look at all the teams who have won major tournaments, the French and the Spanish, you only have to track that back to probably having a good experience. You talk about kids having good experience and good education and we have to make sure when we get up to Under-21s, 19s, 17s that that continues because the Spanish do it and they go with their best players.
The most valuable and important thing for Wilshere this summer is rest with no major tournament scheduled during the Premier League break, especially after an intense return to action in which he has featured heavily. The last thing Wenger would have wanted is for the midfielder to travel to Israel and return ahead of next season fatigued or worse – injured.
One question mark may be over the use of Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer as he is not quite a regular starter with the national team, however is in Hodgson’s first team plans. The winger has had a mixed second season with the Gunners since his meteoric rise to fame last campaign that saw the former Southampton academy graduate switch to the Emirates and become a full England international in the space of a year. He has been used sparingly of late, so perhaps a trip with the U21’s this summer will help develop his confidence and it will be useful for the youngster to gain tournament experience.