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Feb 9, 2011

Capello groups Wilshere with legends

Fabio Capello will hand Jack Wilshere the midfield holding role for England against Denmark in Copenhagen and opted to bracket the youngster in the same company as legends of the game.

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Capello insisted that the 19-year-old Wilshere can be his long-term replacement for Owen Hargreaves, but also spoke in glowing terms of his abilities to fit anywhere into his side.

''I know he prefers to go forward but an intelligent player can play anywhere,'' said Capello. ''I used the example of Claude Makelele before. Andrea Pirlo also started just behind the forward player but ended up playing in front of the back four.

''The thing is, he plays with confidence, never with fear. And other players have confidence in him. He is not playing for a team that's trying to stay in the Premier League. It is Arsenal, second in the table. It is incredible for someone so young.''

Capello, not a man given to hyperbole, went on to put Wilshere alongside some of the greats of the game, even though he has thus far made just a single substitutes' appearance for his country.

''I know Wilshere is 19 but I remember the best players I managed; Baresi, Maldini, Raul. They all started really young,'' Capello added. ''It is the same talent. But people have to wait. He is young and needs experience in big games, like the Champions League and matches between the big teams in England.''

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