England U21 manager Stuart Pearce has stated he plans to call up Arsenal's Jack Wilshere for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship finals in Israel.
The midfielder was rested for the 2011 U-21 European Championships in Denmark because of playing too much football in the 2010/11 season, after the youngster broke into the Gunners' first team. The 20 year old was then sidelined for around 14 months due to ankle and knee injuries and missed Roy Hodgson's 2012 Euro squad.
Wilshere is understood to have made a full recovery and could be drafted into the senior squad by Hodgson, when the 2014 World Cup qualifiers resume next year. But Pearce insists the Arsenal No 10 should play one or two major tournaments with the U-21 side, like Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, to prepare himself for an international competition with the Three Lions.
"Look at Tom Cleverley for example, who's had an Olympic experience and international tournament experience [2011 U-21 European Championships]. It's the same with [Tottenham Hotspur defender] Steven Caulker and one or two others; going to the major tournaments will stand them in great stead because as we stand at the moment we've still got a scenario with the likes of Jack Wilshere, because of his injury and whatever, he's not been to a major tournament with England yet," the Daily Mail quoted Pearce as saying.
"All of a sudden he's approaching his [21st] birthday and I don't know when the next opportunity of a major tournament will be for him - next summer, the summer after? The more tournament football these boys can get the more it prepares them for the senior team and it also gives us the opportunity to vie for a major trophy at under-21 level because if you don't get to these tournaments then you can't win them," the former England international added.
Wilshere is young enough to play in the 2015 U-21 European Championships in the Czech Republic as well.
Wilshere Plays Full Match for Arsenal Reserves
The Arsenal youngster continued his successful comeback by playing 90 minutes in a training ground friendly against Chelsea on 17 October. This was the first time Wilshere took part in a full game since May 2011. Wing-back Bacary Sagna and anchorman Emmanuel Frimpong also played the entire match for the reserves as they too continued their rehabilitation programme.
John Terry, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Andre Santos and Francis Coquelin also featured in the game that Chelsea won 2-0, thanks to goals from Blues youngsters Billy Clifford and Islam Feruz. Wilshere is expected to feature again for the Arsenal reserves, when they visit Everton on 22 October.