Sir Trevor Brooking believes it is crucial for England's future that the likes of Jack Wilshere gain as much tournament experience as possible at international level.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed concern about Wilshere being over-played so early in his career but Football Association technical director Brooking insists it is vital Wilshere and other promising players participate in the European under-21 Championship finals this summer.
He said: "It is a debate but we are not trying to drain our players. The issue mainly for us is tournament experience. Just look at some of the other countries. Spain is the best example. Some of their current big name players won 50, 60, 70 youth caps in the different age groups and have won trophies at those levels."
He added: "The Germans were used as an example recently when we lost to them 4-0 in the 2009 final of the European Under-21s.
"Seven of them got fast tracked into their senior squad and performed really well a year later at the World Cup.
"Of course, they have got to be ready for it but tournament football is so different.
"We had a great qualifying campaign (for the World Cup) and then disappointed in South Africa.
"You can look at reasons why and debate preparation but we do think tournament football is very different.
"You have a game every three or four days, find out who is a good traveller, who comes off the bench well, who is moody and who is doom and gloom about the place when they are not in the team.
"You have got to find out about people and you only do that through tournament football."
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