By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has urged Fabio Capello to "consider the consequences" of Jack Wilshere's dual England role this summer.
The Arsenal midfielder has enjoyed a breakthrough season for club and country and made his 50th appearance of the campaign when Manchester United were beaten at Emirates Stadium last weekend.
Wilshere has a busy summer ahead too: he has been named in the provisional England Under-21 squad for the European Championships in Denmark and is expected to receive a call-up for the senior side's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June.
The 19-year-old will not get a much-needed rest until after those internationals and, although Wenger will not stand in the way of Wilshere's England ambitions, he fears that the teenager's heavy workload this year could have a knock-on effort when England need him at Euro 2012.
"I would never say that [he should not play], first of all because I don't feel I have the right to do that," said Wenger. "I'm not English and I educate English players to play for their country, if they can.
"But I would ask Fabio Capello to consider the consequences of a boy who is 19 years old who has played around 50 games at the end of the season, who has played for the first team and then a tournament on the back of it.
"What will the consequences be for the next season? I don't know but I feel the youth system is there to promote the players to play in the top team.
"I can see it from [England Under-21 manager] Stuart Pearce's point of view. I called him and explained to him why I am against it and I told him as well that at the end of the day I would give him my honest opinion and I would respect the decision of the FA.
"Only the federation can master this decision and the federation has to act in a responsible way. You cannot ask Jack if he wants to play - do you really think he will say no? I don't think that's realistic.
"I am happy that he wants to play every single game for his country. The question raised by him playing are the consequences for the country, for England."
The counter-argument points out that Germany's World Cup performance in 2010 was not undermined by the fact that many of their players took part in an Under-21 tournament the previous year. But Wenger does not see it that way.
"I hear many times the comparisons with the German players that I find completely inaccurate," he said.
"First of all the German players when they went to the [Under-21] tournament they had not played the number of games that Wilshere has played this season.
"Secondly in Germany there is a massive winter break before the World Cup and that allows everybody to start after the break well rested, in February. So you cannot compare the two situations."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source