Alves: Arsenal star will be like Iniesta - if he joins Barca

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Barcelona defender Dani Alves has urged his club to snap up Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after being impressed by the talented youngster during Brazil's recent international friendly against England.

Wilshere has impressed for Arsenal since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off in October, and played his first full 90 minutes for the Three Lions in their 2-1 victory over Brazil at Wembley.

Alves, who has also come up against Wilshere in the Champions League, believes the Arsenal midfielder has the potential to be as good as some of Barcelona's brightest stars, and urged him to relocate to the Camp Nou.

“He is a great player who we have met playing against Arsenal and without doubt he can reach the height of the players we have here at Barcelona like Xavi and Iniesta,” the 29-year-old said.

“He has a lot of quality and a great personality. If I was given the chance to choose, he is a player that I would sign for Barcelona.”

Both Barcelona and Arsenal are in action in the Champions League this week, with Tito Vilanova's side taking on AC Milan and the Gunners going up against Bayern Munich in the last-16.

While Wilshere will be doing all he can to help his side cause an upset against a much-fancied Bayern side, Alves says Barcelona can't afford to get carried away with their status as favourites against a Milan side on the up in Serie A.

“They will be difficult opponents because of the tradition that they have in the competition," he said.

"You have to show them respect. Milan is not experiencing its greatest period but these will be special games. We can’t think about what Milan is going through, we just have to play our football and work hard because we know they are going to be tough games.”

Barca go into the tie against Milan at the San Siro on the back of an unconvincing 2-1 win over Granada on Saturday.

Two goals from Lionel Messi not only secured three points for the Blaugrana but also moved him past 300 goals for the club - and Alves believes the Argentinian is currently laying down a legacy on a par with greats of the past like Pele and Maradona.

Right now he is spectacular,” Alves said. “In the past there have always been players like Pele and Maradona who mark their era.

"Messi is this player. His new contract [until 2018] is great news for Barcelona and for him personally, because this is his home and where he has been trained. We will have him for a long time which is great.”

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