By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger says he handed Jack Wilshere the No 10 shirt as a show of faith in his leadership potential.

The 20-year-old has taken Robin van Persie’s old number after the Dutchman’s departure for Manchester United.

Wilshere is set to return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines early this season and Wenger has backed the young midfielder to lead by example.

“We lose great players but I want to show that we have great players at the Club,” said the manager. “We have young players, English players like Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere. We have fantastic potential here and when everyone is fit we will see that.

“I feel Jack will be one of the leaders of this club and by giving him the No 10 shirt I want to show I am confident he will be the one who will lead the team one day.

“I believe that he is at the stage where he needs something at the moment. At his age after one year out, that is not easy to take.

“Every day he comes in at eight o'clock in the morning and works out but didn't get anywhere. I want to show him that I believe in him and that he will come back quickly.”

Copyright 2014 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 17 Aug 2012