England manager Roy Hodgson believes Jack Wilshere is crucial to England's hopes of gaining qualification to next summer's World Cup in Brazil, and is crossing his fingers that the youngster stays fit.
The Arsenal midfielder who won just his eighth international cap in last night's victory over Scotland, has had several long-term injuries that have halted his progression since bursting on the scene in 2010.
And Hodgson was clearly wary of the 21-year-old's injury concerns after withdrawing him at half-time, replacing him with Frank Lampard.
The national team leader was astute enough to realise that England will need Wilshere fit for the up-and-coming encounters with Moldova and Ukraine.
"Jack is a wonderful footballer," said the England manager.
"He's done ever so well to come back from the injury but what he needs now is to get these regular games. All I can hope for is that he remains injury-free because he is an integral part of our plans."
Although it was only the second time he had partnered captain Steven Gerrard in the middle of midfielder, the Liverpool skipper has said he has "no doubt" that Wilshere will become the future captain of the national side.
Gerrard is full of praise for the young midfielder and has claimed the Three Lions' future is bright because of Wilshere.
"I've got no doubt about that. He ticks a lot of boxes and he is going to be around the top for a long time," said Gerrard before their match with Scotland last night.
Wilshire will be hoping to feature a lot more this season for Arsenal who start the new Premier League season at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.
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