Arsene Wenger: 'Jack Wilshere is a natural leader'

Mikel Arteta celebrates scoring with Jack Wilshere on December 22, 2012
© PA Photos
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger declares that Jack Wilshere will be a future Gunners captain but not at the expense of current skipper Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared that Jack Wilshere is already helping lead the club on and off the pitch at 21 years of age.

Wilshere ended up taking over the captain's armband on Wednesday when Thomas Vermaelen went off injured during the Gunners' 5-1 win over West Ham United in the Premier League.

Wenger has insisted that the call on who took over the captaincy was down to Vermaelen and admitted that he was intrigued by his decision to pick out Wilshere to receive the armband.

He told the club's official website: "Honestly, Vermaelen made that choice and I let him make it. It is always interesting to see when Vermaelen is out who he feels spontaneously should be the captain. I did not want to stop him.

"Wilshere is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. He wants to win and shows you that. Of course, he will be one of the leaders of this club, in fact he already is. A leader is somebody who does everything on the pitch to help his team to win. And he does that.

"If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen [then my answer is] no. But I think Jack will be captain of this club one day. First of all, because of the quality of the player. Second, his commitment and desire to win. And his understanding of the game. He understands football very well and senses on the pitch what you have to do."

Arsenal continue their quest for silverware later today with an FA Cup tie against Brighton & Hove Albion.

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