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Hodgson to rest Wilshere from U21 Euros

England boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not take part in the Under-21 European Championship.

The former West Brom boss this week confirmed his squad to face Brazil in a friendly to kick off the FA’s 150th anniversary year, with youngsters such as Phil Jones, Jordan Henderson and Wilfried Zaha all dropping down to the Under-21 squad to face Sweden at Walsall on Tuesday.

Hodgson, however, said that Wilshere is in a different class to the other young Englishman and is now an important part of the senior set-up.

“It is not right to compare Jack with Zaha, (Raheem) Sterling and (Jonjo) Shelvey etc,” Hodgson said.

“You have to give Wilshere the credit that he has established himself as a bona fide first-team player.”

The England manager also dismissed suggestions that the Under-21 tournament added an unnecessary burden to youngsters and insisted they still have plenty of time to rest in the summer.

He added: “Tournaments are played at the end of a football season; how do you avoid the players not having played a long season before, unless it is being suggested that anyone picked doesn’t play for their clubs for five or six weeks beforehand? I don’t think that would be very popular.

“The U-21 tournament finishes in the middle of June. I don’t think the Premier League kicks off again in the middle of August.

“Two months is a long time. Quite a lot of people in normal jobs wouldn’t mind two months of not having any real pressure to perform.”

Fri 1 February, 2013
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