Arsene Wenger: 'Jack Wilshere can replicate Zinedine Zidane'

Wenger: 'Wilshere can replicate Zidane'
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Jack Wilshere can fulfil a similar role for England to the one that Zinedine Zidane did for France.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Jack Wilshere can play a similar role for England to the one that Zinedine Zidane played for France.

Zidane was at the forefront of a 'golden generation' for France as they won the 1998 World Cup and the European Championships two years later, and Wenger believes that Wilshere has shown similar character traits to the legendary midfielder.

The 21-year-old was criticised for his performance in England's goalless draw against Ukraine earlier this week, but Wenger believes that he has the mental strength to absorb the criticism and emerge as the leader of his country's next generation.

"If Jack Wilshere has the same game at Arsenal we just say 'okay, today he was not at his best' - but when he has that game in the national team suddenly everyone questions your ability. The players find it a bit more difficult to handle [things] in the national team with that kind of mental pressure which comes from everybody," Wenger told PA

"National teams need always a guy who absorbs this type of pressure and takes it, we [France] had Zidane - when the France team played well it was all Zidane, but [that meant] the others could play. You need a good generation, but as well also need one player.

"Be positive. Jack can take that [role]. He is young, only 22 [in January]. He has the capacity to do that, but he needs to play six months without any problem."

Wilshere is expected to line up alongside club-record signing Mesut Ozil for the first time tomorrow as Arsenal face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid attacks during the pre season friendly match between Bournemouth and Real Madrid at Goldsands Stadium on July 21, 2013
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