England captain John Terry has backed the decision to protect Jack
Wilshere from footballing burn-out.
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Wilshere was disappointed not to be included in the England Under-21 squad for this summer’s UEFA Championships after a successful first full campaign with Arsenal.
But Terry has seen enough at club and international level to know Wilshere will be a vital cog in England’s future, as he spoke ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Switzerland at Wembley.
Terry said: "He doesn’t look tired. He’s played 60 games this season, his first full season, and I see him now as a huge part of our senior set-up.
"I think if we’re going to nurture and look after him, and we’re looking to the Euros next summer, he has to be looked after.
"What’s happened is unfortunate for the Under-21s, but Jack has been different class for us in the last couple of games. I see him as a major part of our set-up here."
Terry added: "I had a chat with him. It was a big issue. He’s obviously disappointed that he’s not going. But, at the same time, he feels part of the senior set-up. That’s the confidence he’s brought in. That’s encouraging for him as well.
"I honestly feel we need to look after him and make him feel comfortable in his decision."
Terry has been surprised how quickly Wilshere has adapted to playing at senior level for his country. He said: "Not many of us expected him to step up the way he has done. Everyone was keen to see fresh faces and fresh players come in, and he’s been the one who’s stood out out of everyone.
"Hopefully he can have an injury-free season next year and be ready for the Euros. The way he glides past players is very much Zola-esque a little bit.
"He shows a huge amount of confidence for someone so young. His ability speaks for itself."