England's Jack Wilshere made his Arsenal debut at the fragile age of 16, becoming the club's youngest starter ever.
He's suffered major injuries that have robbed him of playing time for the past two years, but he's now confident that he's back to full fitness.
"I'm really looking forward to having a solid pre-season. I haven't had one in two years, and once you miss it, you're always playing catch-up," he told ESPN in an interview in New York City.
"It's a chance to show the manager that you deserve to be in the team and I think there's going to be competition for a few spots. But that's a good thing. It you're going to challenge for trophies, you need a big squad. You can't expect 11 players to do it every week," he added.
When asked about the prospect of Gonzalo Higuain joining the club, he said: "I've never played against him, but anyone who plays for Real Madrid and Argentina has to be quality."
Wilshere added he enjoys playing with a little "bite" and the aggressiveness is necessary when playing in England.
"I think in England, it's important to play with some bite. You look at all the English midfielders who've had success and they've all got that. Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes..."
When asked about England's recent demoralising U-21 European Championship and the U-20 World Cup exits, Wilshere said he wasn't worrying too much.
"Obviously, it's disappointing," he admitted. "You sit there thinking you'd like to be out there helping them.
"I played with several of the U-21 players on the U-16s and I know they have some exciting young talent like Wilfried Zaha.
"Just because they had a bad tournament doesn't mean the future of English football is in bad shape. Not with guys like Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck."
About Arsenal's future, he added: "You look at the type of players like Higuain we're trying to bring in and you've got to be more encouraged. I think we need a few more, not to step right into our team but to add to the squad."
When asked about if he felt under pressure to perform for Arsenal and England, Wilshere said: "What pressure? It's flattering, but it makes me laugh a bit as well.
"Even Messi can't win the World Cup for Argentina by himself."
Lastly, Wilshere was asked to sum up his career in three words. "Exciting. Frustrating. Promising," he concluded.
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