“He can be one of the leaders in the future’ – Arsene Wenger lavished praise on 25-year-old midfielder

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Arsenal manager ARSENE WENGER says Jack Wilshere can become a leader who he is looking for following the departure of Alexis Sanchez who is closing on a move to Man Utd.

The 25-year-old midfielder was handed the captain’s armband for the first time this month’s Carabao Cup clash against their London rivals Chelsea, despite being out of contract at Emirates Stadium after the end of the current campaign.

The England international midfielder was so proud about the honour he asked to keep the armband after the draw with defending Premier League champions.

Talks between Arsenal and Wilshere have opened about a contract extension, and Wenger – aiming to get the Gunners back on to the winning ways with the leadership of their No.10.

“He is much more patient and mature,” said the Frenchman. “Before his desire to play was the only thing that mattered.

And Frenchman remains confident that Wilshere will remain at The Emirates, adding: “I see him here because he is an Arsenal man.

“He was here at the age of 10 and I believe he’s not only been here for a long time but he has some leadership qualities.

“He has a football brain. He is completely focussed on Arsenal. The fact that he has been away (on loan to Bournemouth) and come back – he realises as well that life here is not so bad maybe.

“That is something that is important that he can be one of the leaders in the future. Who would question his love and commitment for the club? Nobody.

“We have to find an agreement that makes him happy and the wish that in the future he remains fit.”