Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed the reason why he was omitted from the England Under-21 squad that will travel to Denmark for the European Championships this summer.
The 19-year-old starlet had previously expressed his desire to represent his country in June, but following a rigorous first full season for the Gunners, Wilshere has decided that a summer break would be more beneficial to his long-term career.
Having featured in 59 games for Arsenal this season, Wilshere is at serious risk of burnout, making him highly susceptible to injury – an idea that was recently presented to him by club manager Arsene Wenger and fitness coach Tony Colbert with a breakdown of his individual performance statistics.
"My main emotion is frustration," said Wilshere, speaking after yesterday's squad announcement.
"When I said I wanted to play for the U21s, I meant that. I wasn’t lying, I wanted to play and I still want to play so that's why there is frustration.
"Obviously the fact I was going to get injured, I didn't want to hear that. That wasn't good for me.
"Over the last few weeks I started to get a bit tired and I spoke with the manager and the fitness team and I spoke with Stuart Pearce and told him.
"I said I wanted to go [to Denmark], but was a bit concerned with my fitness. When they showed me the stats, it scared me a bit.
"It made me realise as much as I’m 19 and can keep going and going, there's going to be a time when you’re going to hit the wall. Maybe that was coming."
Following Arsenal's failure to finish in the top three in the Barclays Premier League, the Gunners squad now face an early return to pre-season, with their Champions League qualification campaign set to start in July.
Circumstances which, may of course increased Wenger's keenness to keep Wilshere out of the U21 squad this summer.
However, it is in both Arsenal and England's best interests for young Jack to take a well-earned break looking ahead to coming back ready and raring to go again next season.
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