By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger fears that Jack Wilshere's summer workload might keep him out of the Arsenal side until September.
The 19-year-old has been named in the provisional England Under-21 squad for the European Championships in June and is expected to feature when the senior side take on Switzerland in a vital Euro 2012 qualifier that same month.
Those commitments could take Wilshere up to 60 games since he broke into the England and Arsenal teams last August and Wenger will not risk rushing him back for the start of the new Premier League season.
"I said that from the start," said the Frenchman. "I know that Jack continues to play, but he has hit the wall a little bit. We know that from our own statistics.
"No matter what happens I have to give him at least four weeks' holiday. The [Under-21] tournament finishes at the end of June so he won't come back until the end of July. That means he will not be ready to play at the start of August or maybe at the beginning of September."
Wenger has repeatedly said that he will not stand in the way of Wilshere's England ambitions but he must wait and see whether England boss Fabio Capello heeds his warning that Wilshere risks burnout a year ahead of a significantly bigger tournament - Euro 2012.
"It looks like I'm fighting against it but I just warn what I see," said Wenger.
"I'm the happiest man if Wilshere plays for England against Wales, so I don't want to be seen as a manager who does not want his players to play for their country.
"I hope he has a great Euro Championships but the second season is always more difficult than the first. And on top of that he may not be having a good rest. If he goes to the Under-21s I will have to give him a long rest.
"Indirectly it is [Capello's issue] because he will use the player at the beginning of the season like I will. I will talk to him of course but the FA have to make up their mind."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