Yesterday, Jack Wilshere became the new Arsenal no.19. He is only 16 years old, but an amazing young talent, he played twice in the Emirates Cup and shone there and with 7 substitutes in the Premiership this season he may well get his chance to play for the first team.
Wilshere has played for Arsenal since the age of 9. Last year he was used in the Under-16s, but then became a top player for the Under-18s. He has impressed in pre-season and now forms part of a new influx of youngsters into the squad, Vela, Nasri, Ramsey, Mannone and Bischoff.
Reserve Team manager Neil Banfield on Wilshere:
“If the young players work hard at their game, listen to the advice of the coaching staff, they realise they will have every opportunity here,”
“Jack was given the opportunity by the manager to go on the Austrian Training Camp, along with five others who have all done really well. Jack has taken his chance, and he is one of quite a few we have here that we have high hopes for.
“You have to adapt to the physical aspects of the game, and I think Jack is strong enough. It is about how you physically develop and I think with Jack, even at 16, it doesn’t mean he won’t be as physically strong as someone at 18 or even someone at 20.
“That has been the benefit of our Reserve team. The experienced players that our lads are up against means they learn on the pitch. The senior players then show them what to do while the game is going on. That is carried on for the young lads who learned so much in Austria.”
This is very promising news. It is exciting to have so many young prospects in the team.
One problem is that last year our squad looked lightweight and inexperienced, and we haven’t brought in any very experienced players, only replaced them with young ones.
I don’t doubt our ability – last year we played fantastically and were unlucky to come away with nothing but does this bode well for our chances of silverware?
Wenger has his critics and they will be salivating at the thought of bringing these new young talents down to the ground very hard.
I am excited for the new season, but I really really really don’t want to turn it into another ‘transition year’.