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Oct 29, 2012

Wenger: Jack should 'skip' England squad

Arsene Wenger plans to warn Roy Hodgson against selecting Jack Wilshere for England's squad ahead of next month's international friendly with Sweden.

• Wilshere return kept secret
• Brewin: Jack gives Gunners a lift
• Blog: Bad week ends well

Wilshere returned to club action on Saturday in Arsenal's 1-0 win over QPR at Emirates Stadium. The midfielder had spent the past 14 months on the sidelines battling knee and ankle injuries.

The 20-year-old subsequently missed out on featuring at last summer's Euro 2012 tournament and on representing Team GB at the London Olympics. But Wenger believes Wilshere should be given time to regain full fitness before being asked to pair his club and international duties, ahead of the November 14 friendly in Sweden.

"It is a friendly. Jack should skip that," said Wenger. "What is important now is that he gets back to full fitness for this team. Once he is back he will play for England again, but if it is a friendly?

"I will have a little word [with Hodgson], of course. Anyway, Roy will call me about him. I am an understanding manager. If it is a friendly, a full game would be too much at the moment. I will speak about it with Roy, but what is important now is that he gets back to his level."

Wilshere himself maintains he can deal with the expectation of being England's "world beater" after making his long-awaited comeback. He accepts there will be calls for him to make an immediate return to Hodgson's squad, but insists he is calm over the speculation.

"Football is like that, especially with England," said Wilshere. "You become a better player when you are injured, you become a world beater when you are injured.

"When you come back, there is an expectation, but I can deal with it. That is part and parcel of football and there are older players here who can keep my feet on the ground and help me.

"Just for now, I am happy to be back. I am happy to be out there and healthy again. I was just running round smiling - that feeling was amazing.

"I am still a long way from full fitness, everyone has to understand that. They do here at Arsenal. It is a long journey is going to take time.

"When you are nearly back a couple of times and then have another setback it is really hard to take. In football, you learn to deal with injuries and this will help me. My family have helped me so much and it will strengthen me and all I can do now is look forward."

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