By Richard Clarke

Jack Wilshere needs a breather, according to Arsène Wenger.

The 16-year-old midfielder burst into the Arsenal first-team picture during pre-season. He scored goals against Stuttgart and a Burgenland XI as well as putting in numerous eye-catching performances. He was rewarded with a first-team squad number and there is every chance he will be used in the coming campaign. But, for now, his manager wants him to take a back seat.

“He has had very hard physical preparation for a boy of just 16 years-old,” said Wenger. “He looks a little bit tired now.

“We have to give him time now to recover from that intense preparation but, in two or three weeks, he will have done that and might play as well.”

Wenger added that Wilshere was in the 18-strong travelling party for tonight’s game at Twente but only “as a squad player.”

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13 Aug 2008