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Rooney compares Wilshere to Gascoigne

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney feels Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is the closest thing to Paul Gascoigne.

The 21-year-old caught the eye with a fine performance for England as they beat Brazil in midweek and the United forward sees similarities with the former Tottenham player, who is struggling with alcohol addiction.

“The way (Gascoigne) ran with the ball … probably the closest thing I’ve seen to him is Jack, where he gets the ball and runs at players a lot quicker and a lot stronger than people realise,” Rooney told reporters.

“It’s great to see such a young player come in, against a team like Brazil, and put in a performance like that.”

Gascoigne flew to the United States in early February after suffering a relapse, with his agent, Terry Baker, saying he needs ‘immediate help’, and Rooney hopes the England icon can recover.

“It’s a terrible shame about Gazza,” the United star said. “My best wishes are with him and I hope he can get himself out of this.

“He was a hero of mine and I used to dream of being like him. It’s so sad for everyone to see what’s happening to him.

“I got to train with him when I was a kid (at Everton). It was only a couple of times, when I was 14 or 15, I had watched him playing for England for years and to then have him where I was training was great.

“To see the stuff he could do with a ball was brilliant. It was a great ¬experience for me. I used to go home and tell my mates, ‘I’ve just trained with Paul Gascoigne’.”

Sun 10 February, 2013
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