England U21 boss Pearce careful with Arsenal superkid Wilshere

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce says he will be careful with the selection of Arsenal's 17 year-old starlet Jack Wilshere.

Wilshere, 17, has impressed with Arsenal over the past 12 months and could yet force his way into senior England coach Fabio Capello's plans.

"Time will tell and his ability will come to the fore," said Pearce.

Pearce was speaking ahead of his side's opening European Championship qualifier against Macedonia on Friday.

"I'll make sure I protect him as much as I can," added Pearce.

"He'll come through in his own good time. There is no point in me lauding him up and talking about senior football at the moment.

"The first port of call is getting in your club side. He is at a very good club side. On top of that he needs to get in the Under-21 side and perform there. From there, who knows?

"[Wilshere's] got to try to win a place in this Under-21 team at the moment - and he's got to try to win a place in Arsenal's team at the moment.

"That will happen in time, there is no doubt about that because the boy has some fantastic talent."