Wilshere impresses Capello

LONDON - Sven-Goran Eriksson's flawed decision to include Theo Walcott in England's 2006 World Cup squad and then not play the 17-year-old striker isn't deterring Fabio Capello from considering whether to take the country's latest teenage prodigy to next year's tournament.

LONDON - Sven-Goran Eriksson's flawed decision to include Theo Walcott in England's 2006 World Cup squad and then not play the 17-year-old striker isn't deterring Fabio Capello from considering whether to take the country's latest teenage prodigy to next year's tournament.

The England coach is lavishing praise on Jack Wilshere despite the 17-year-old midfielder never featuring in a senior squad and enjoying most of his competitive first-team experience at Arsenal in a minor knockout competition.

But an impressive pre-season, topped by man-of-the-match displays in the Emirates Cup against Atletico Madrid and Rangers, has put Wilshere firmly on Capello's radar.

"He surprised me when I saw him at the Emirates Cup. I saw him a few times last year in the League Cup and this year he has improved a lot," Capello said. "He has a big personality with the ball, he scores goals, he plays without fear and he has big confidence."

For now, though, Wilshere will have to settle for being in England's under-20 team that plays Montenegro today and travels to Egypt next month for the world youth championship. - Sapa-AP

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