‘We contribute more and more to England'

Arsene Wenger is proud that his young players are becoming increasingly influential in the England set-up.

Both Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott played starring roles in Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory over Brazil, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was on the bench.

Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs have also had their chance in recent months and Wenger is pleased with the way the Club is helping the national team.

 “The Arsenal players who played [against Brazil] were quite influential,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “Walcott has done very well. Wilshere has done very well. Oxlade-Chamberlain unfortunately couldn’t get any part in the game.

“It shows that Arsenal contributes more and more to the England performances. I’m very happy about that. I said many times that we have a core of British and English players who are at a top level, and Jack is of course one of them.

“I’m happy that he’s continued to improve his performances and has such a big influence in the England team - that’s fantastic. [His progress] is much quicker than I expected.

“I always thought that in February he would be back to his best. He was in front of my expectations, because since December his performances have taken off and in every game he’s becoming more influential.”

Some have compared Wilshere with a young Paul Gascoigne, but Wenger is wary of drawing conclusions at such an early stage of his career.


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“Gascoigne was an extremely talented and quality player. Of course Jack is as well,” he said. “I’m a bit scared to make these kind of comparisons because people will quickly go further.

“Jack has a great career in front of him. He’s mentally strong and it’s not easy to handle all this hype at that age. He has his feet on the ground and I’m confident he will handle it very well.

“On the football pitch, there are many similarities, that’s true. The two are generous and committed people. Let’s [let] Jack develop, because I think there’s a lot more to come from him.”

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