x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Capello finds his Jack the Lad in Wilshere

Two man-of-the-match displays from the 17-year-old winger in pre-season earned him lavish praise from manager Arsene Wenger and the England coach joined in.

Wilshere is tipped for a bright future with club and country.
Wilshere is tipped for a bright future with club and country.

The hype continues to grow around Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere. Two man-of-the-match displays from the 17-year-old winger in pre-season earned him lavish praise from manager Arsene Wenger. Now the England coach Fabio Capello has joined in, claiming Wilshere could earn a spot at the World Cup finals in South Africa next summer. The Italian saw Wilshere, who has only made one substitute appearance in the Premier League, star in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament, scoring twice against Rangers.

And Capello said: "He surprised me. Really. I saw him last year two times because he played in the Carling Cup and he has improved a lot now. He plays without fear, with confidence. And the other players passed the ball always to him. This is not normal to be so young and so good." Sven-Goran Eriksson took another Arsenal youngster, Theo Walcott, to the World Cup finals in 2006 before he had played in the Premier League, but Capello, who named his squad for Wednesday's friendly in Holland on Saturday, stressed Wilshere must break into the first team if he is to earn a place in the squad.

He continued: "We have time before we have to decide if he will go to South Africa. It depends a lot on Wenger, if he will play him." Carlos Tevez made his Manchester City debut on Saturday, almost a month after signing for the club and immediately impressed both his teammates and supporters. The Argentine striker, who has been sidelined with a heel injury, came on as a substitute during the 2-1 friendly win against Celtic and got a standing ovation from the City fans.

Gareth Barry, who scored his first goal for the club with a sweet volley, said: "You could see he's missed a lot of training, but when he's 100 per cent fit you can see it's all going to click together and Carlos is going to be a massive player for us this season. As we have seen in previous years he's got that extra bit of quality. "He's labelled one of the best strikers in the world and if you see him play and train that's exactly what he is. City are very lucky to have a player like him."

* With agencies