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Football | England

Arsene Wenger with Jack Wilshere © Action Images

Jack's England return worries Wenger



Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has expressed anxiety over Jack Wilshere's return to the England squad, and admitted that he would have preferred it if his midfielder had been overlooked.

Wilshere was on Thursday handed an international recall by England coach Roy Hodgson for next week's friendly in Sweden, 17 months after he last turned out for his country.

The 20-year-old has only played three times for Arsenal since making his return from a long-term injury lay-off, and Wenger says that involvement with the England set-up will not necessarily aid his recovery.

Asked if he would prefer Wilshere not to be in the squad, the Arsenal manager replied: "The ideal solution would be yes.

"It is as it is. He has played three games now, and of the three games only one was a full game. He has been out for 17 months. It's good to have a little break after three games."

Wilshere will not feature against Fulham on Saturday after being sent off in the 2-1 loss at Manchester United last weekend, but Wenger has nonetheless urged Hodgson to proceed with caution.

"Jack, you know what I think, that it is early for him," he said.

"I had Roy Hodgson on the phone, we found a good understanding and a good compromise. What helps is that he is not playing over the weekend because he is suspended, of course.

"He will have a little breather. Roy wants him in the group to connect the game with the players."

Wenger also expressed his pride after Hodgson revealed he intends to call up Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson, provided the 20-year-old receives clearance from Fifa after representing Finland at youth level.

"I am happy that his potential has been acknowledged by Roy Hodgson, so that is good news," said Wenger.

"Carl is a guy with massive potential and I believe the positive of that is it will improve his belief, and that is very important for him in my opinion."

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