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Apr 25, 2012

Pearce could call on Wilshere

Stuart Pearce has confirmed he will consider selecting Jack Wilshere for the 2012 Olympics, despite the Arsenal midfielder's fitness woes.

• Men's Olympic Tournament 2012

Wilshere, 20, has not played this term after suffering an ankle injury during pre-season, and Gunners boss Arsene Wegner recently revealed the youngster will miss the remainder of the domestic campaign and Euro 2012.

Wenger also said it would be "the worst thing" for Wilshere to compete at this summer's Olympic games, with the Frenchman keen to protect the England international from a further setback.

Pearce, though, has Wilshere on his 80-man short-list for the tournament and would consider calling upon the playmaker, who the Great Britain coach feels should have the final say.

He told the Daily Mirror: "We're in constant contact with Arsenal and we'll see how this one rides, but will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not.

"We would obviously let them know if their players are in contention and the dates they would need to be made available. But we're talking about Great Britain here. The Olympic Games.

"If you strip it down solely to the players, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Lionel Messi took his club to court because he wanted to play at the Olympics. That's the best player in the world.

"I wouldn't want to get into a legal battle, but we're not talking about taking players away for a whole season. We're not even asking them to miss a competitive match."

Speaking in response to Wenger's comments over Wilshere's potential inclusion, Pearce added: "That's his opinion. I can't change his opinion, and it's not of great concern to me."

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