Wenger: Wilshere will come back a stronger player

The 20-year-old international has been out of action for 14 months with an ankle injury but the Gunners' boss insists 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 action for 14 months and counting for the first team and there will undoubtedly be fears in many fans’ minds about whether he can recapture the form that saw him tipped to be a future world-class player.

Wenger, however, insisted the Gunners' starlet would not see his career adversely affected by the long spell out, and said any comparisons between Wilshere and Eduardo - the former Arsenal striker who was out for a long spell through injury - are irrelevant.

"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,” the French coach 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."