Wenger believes Arsenal midfielder Wilshere will captain England

Jack Wilshere has been backed by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to one day be named as England captain, the Daily Mirror has reported, while Wilshere is a contender to skipper the Gunners in the FA Cup against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Wilshere was given the armband in midweek against West Ham United when regular captain Thomas Vermaelen was substituted. Mikel Arteta, the club’s vice-captain, will miss a few more weeks through injury and when Vermaelen was substituted, he chose to hand the honour to Wilshere, Wenger revealed.

The manager is sure Wilshere will one day be Arsenal’s official captain but insists he has not yet decided who will lead out the team against Brighton if Vermaelen is absent. Wenger has been keen to rest Wilshere after he returned from nearly 18 months on the sidelines in the autumn, but Wilshere wants to play.

Wenger said: “I think Jack will be captain of this club – yes, of course. First of all, because of the quality of the player. Second, his commitment and desire to win. And his understanding of the game. He understands football very well and senses on the pitch what you have to do.

Jack is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. He wants to win and shows you that. Wenger also noted that Wilshere, even without captaincy status, is already a leader on the pitch, and that he has the potential to lead the national team too.

If Wilshere were to be named Arsenal captain he would surpass the mark set by former defender Tony Adams as the youngest skipper in the club’s history. Adams was 21 years and 82 days old when he was appointed as captain, and won league titles under both George Graham and Arsene Wenger during his playing career.

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