Wilshere will bounce back even better for Arsenal, believes Wenger

The 20-year-old has been out of action for 14 months with an ankle injury but the Gunners boss insists that he still has the potential to become a world-class footballer

Arsene Wenger has tipped Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere to bounce back a better player as he recommences training after a long spell out with an ankle injury.

The 20-year-old has been out of first-team action for 14 months but the Frenchman does not expect to see his career adversely affected by the absence and insists that any comparisons between Wilshere and Eduardo - the former Gunners striker who struggled after a similar extended lay-off - are irrelevant.

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"He will be a better player - if you have this kind of injury at the age of 20, you will take off again and move forward normally," Wenger told reporters on Friday.

"If you have the injury after the age of 25, it is different. At his age it is no problem.

"Eduardo has limitation of his ankle. Jack has no limitation of his ankle, it was just a fracture.

"Eduardo had a rupture of his ligaments and in construction they had to tie his ankle up. Once you lose flexibility of your ankle you are, of course, not the same player.

"That is not the case for Jack. He will be an international player and he will have to cope. He is a very strong guy.

"He had a stress fracture and that happens many times to young players. Between the ages of 18 to 20, 60 per cent of them have stress fractures."