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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Arsene Wenger: I now trust Jack Wilshere to captain Arsenal

Jack Wilshere, who withdrew from the England squad on Saturday, has earned the right to captain Arsenal, Arsene Wenger says, despite being ready to let him leave last summer.

Wilshere, who has been at Arsenal since the age of nine, has a contract which runs out in June 2018, but so far he has not reached an agreement to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium with the Gunners reportedly offering him reduced terms of £80,000-a-week.

The 26-year-old has overcome some long-term fitness concerns by making 31 first-team appearances for Arsenal this season and, speaking to Bein Sports, Wenger insisted he now trusts the midfielder to be a part of his plans once club captain Per Mertesacker hangs up his boots up at the end of the campaign.

"He [Wilshere] was born here basically," he said. He has a long history with the club, strong link with the club. As well he is the kind of leader for his attitude and for his tactical knowledge on the pitch.

"Apart from his technical top qualities he has personality and is in the right place on the pitch, and now with the maturity to organise around him. That's why I played him central.

"I just thought the combination of history, the fact that he's a long term player for the club, the fact that he has experience and knowledge now, I trust now to make him captain."

Wilshere has been in good form this season and several English and European clubs are reportedly considering making a move for Wilshere in the summer.

His performances have also earned him a recall to the England squad, though he did not travel to Amsterdam for Friday's win over Netherlands as a precaution, and now will not face Italy at Wembley on Tuesday either, the FA announced.

Liverpool's Joe Gomez will stay with England for now though despite leaving Friday's game in the 10th minute.

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