New young flier emerges at Emirates

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been impressed with the development of 17-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere in the preseason, saying he is becoming more powerful in bursting past and destabilising defenders.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been impressed with the development of 17-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere in the preseason, saying he is becoming more powerful in bursting past and destabilising defenders.

Wenger's biggest challenge in managing the precocious teenager, who was named man of the match Saturday in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Emirates Cup, will be getting him to accept not being a first-choice player.

"At that age unfortunately, patience is not your first quality," Wenger said. Wilshere broke into the first team last season, becoming the youngest player, at 16 years, 256 days, to play for Arsenal in the Premier League. Wenger has acknowledged similarities to the career path of Cesc Fabregas, who still holds the honour of being the overall youngest player to appear in an Arsenal shirt.

"Wilshere is more a player who goes at people, so you need more power," Wenger said. "Cesc is more a passer of the ball. Wilshere is more a guy who provokes and passes people, destabilises people and that game demands power." Wilshere, who will turn 18 on January. 1, demonstrated that power Saturday, making strong runs down the right flank and creating several chances.

Wenger said. "Of course he's only 17 years old and that shows you that there's a big potential there.

"He's now gained a fraction of power that makes him much more dangerous. Once people start to pass people in the final 20 yards you can always say there's something special there." Arsenal finished fourth in the Premier League last season, spending several weeks in fifth place and under threat of not qualifying for this season's Champions League. The team hasn't lifted a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and last won the league in 2004.

- Sapa-AP

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