England manager Roy Hodgson has described Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere as the type of player that all teams hope to have after the 20-year-old returned to the national squad for the first time since his long injury layoff.
The youngster recently made his comeback to the Gunners team after missing more than 14 months due to various problems with his right ankle. The playmaker is nearing full fitness, having now made two starts in the Premier League, and Hodgson believes that Wilshere is exactly the type of player that England requires in order to progress to the next level.
"It's good to see [Wilshere] back, and he is, in my opinion, the type of midfield player that all the teams are looking for today - a lot of energy, a lot of ability with the ball, capable of running with the ball, very tenacious in his play, and has got the necessary pace," he told reporters.
Wilshere was sent off against Manchester United during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to the league leaders on Nov. 3, with his lack of match fitness seen by some as the reason for his eventual dismissal. While Arsene Wenger and Hodgson have high hopes for Wilshere for club and country respectively, the national boss promised to use the midfielder sparingly so as not to cause any more setbacks.
"It won't be a question of him starting the game and playing 90 minutes, which might be a bit much for him at international level at this moment," Hodgson said.
The 65-year-old Three Lions boss feels that one of the biggest challenges facing England will be its ability to match other nations' athleticism and technique in midfield as it moves away from a more direct style of play, a transition that a player like Wilshere can help facilitate.
"One thing that becomes more and more obvious is that, the higher the level you play, the more pace, athleticism and mobility plays a part," Hodgson said. "You take all the top teams today in the world, and they're all going down the route of pace, technique, mobility, as opposed to routes that may have been successful in the past, not least for teams like Sweden and England."
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