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England boss happy Jack’s back but it doesn’t spell end for Chelsea star

Jack Wilshere in action for England. Photo credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport Jack Wilshere in action for England. Photo credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Friday, October 5, 2012
8:03 AM

England boss Roy Hodgson has urged patience over the return of Jack Wilshere from injury and said the 20-year-old won’t walk straight back into the national side to replace the old guard.

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The Arsenal midfielder played his first game this week after more than a year on the sidelines when he got an hour for the Gunners’ under-21s against West Bromwich Albion.

Yesterday Hodgson named his 25-man squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

Called up were Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross (25), Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs (23) and Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon (25) while as he plans for the future he is also monitoring the development of under-21 trio Spurs’ Steven Caulker, Birmingham’s Jack Butland and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.

With Wilshere on the comeback trail after an enforced 16 month absence from the game that would raise a very interesting question about 34-year-old Chelsea stalwart Frank Lampard’s status given Hodgson’s declaration that he is not willing to select 33-year-old Rio Ferdinand as a squad man.

It is a question the England manager is understandably happy to delay until such time as Wilshere starts playing to his potential.

“It’s great to see Jack back, but it’s naive to think he’ll walk back into being what he wants,” said Hodgson.

“I don’t have a hard and fast policy but I would suggest that when a player loses his place in the team after 100 games, he might not want to be a squad member.

“At the moment, Frank is in the team and doing well at Chelsea.”

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