Wilshere unavailable for England Under-21s at Euro 2013, Pearce confirms

The Young Lions coach admits the Arsenal starlet is too important to the senior side to be considered at youth level, but hopes the tournament can boost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not be available for England Under-21s' Euro 2013 campaign, Stuart Pearce has confirmed.

Goal.com revealed this week that the 21-year-old is likely to sit out much of the season's remaining weeks after picking up a recurrence of the ankle injury that forced him out of the entirety of last season.

Reports had suggested that Wilshere could feature in this summer's tournament in Israel, but the former Three Lions left back has admitted he is too important to Roy Hodgson's senior squad.

“Roy will be the one that guides it, full stop,” Pearce told reporters. “It will be his call on who he thinks needs that tournament experience at this level. Wilshere and [Danny] Welbeck are so important to the seniors that they’ll go with them, but there’s a point where we have to see the emergence of young talent.

“You’ve only got to look at, say, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A year ago, everything was on an upward spiral and he was playing regularly.

“Now he’s not appearing for Arsenal as much as we’d like. We have to make sure he’s not just sitting in stands and on benches, but is experiencing 90 minutes of football as much as he possibly can.

“He’s got a long career in front of him, but come international games, every time our top talent is not playing, I think to myself we missed a trick there.”

The former Three Lions left back believes that the senior national side will only be successful in tournament football if a culture of winning is instilled by youth teams also winning trophies.

“I’ve got my own mentality on what I think it would take for our senior team to win World Cups and European Championships,” Pearce added. “I believe the key to our senior team being successful lies in what goes on from the age of 21 downwards, what experience of tournaments and winning they’re getting.

“Then they know what it’s like to win together and they take that with them into the seniors. I think we’re missing a bit of a trick by not doing it. In my mind, that’s what’s going to unlock us being successful at the top end.”