Emirates star keen to gain tournament experience in Denmark says Wembley boss.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere wants to play for England U21 in the European Championship this summer, according to the head coach Stuart Pearce.
The 19-year-old was named by Pearce in the 40-man provisional that will travel to Denmark in June as favourites to lift the trophy.
But Wilshere’s call-up has not won universal approval as his club manager Arsene Wenger has questioned the logic of the teenager not being allowed to rest.
Wilshere has played 48 games for Arsenal this season and has turned out for England’s senior side four times.
He also won the Professional Footballers’ Association young player of the year award in April.
But Wenger queried the call-up for the U21s after the midfielder starred for the senior England team in the 2-0 defeat of Wales and the 1-1 draw with Ghana at Wembley.
The Frenchman also says if Wilshere plays for the U21s he should be rested for England’s friendly against the Netherlands in August and the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales in September.
Pearce, who understands Wenger’s frustration, says the dispute reminds him of two years ago when they had a similiar discussion over Theo Walcott and he will talk with his players before making decisions.
“The indications I have had from Jack is that he wants to play,” Pearce told the BBC.
“The players themselves will dictate whether they turn up or not and that has always been the case from when I was playing international football, through to today.
“The clubs will usually follow the lead of the players and if the players want to be there they will be there.
“I have a feeling we [Pearce and Wenger] are going to have different viewpoints but the most important thing is the lad himself wanting to play in the under-21 tournament and I have had that conversation with him.”
“Two years ago I had the same conversation with him about Theo Walcott,” added Pearce.
“The proviso was then that there was a World Cup coming up in South Africa and he would be burnt out.
“He went to the under-21 champs and had a good tournament. Down the line his form wasn’t good enough for him to get on the plane to South Africa.
“To try to dictate the future is very difficult in the professional game. Jack has played a lot of games this year. He is on great form and he loves football.”
Pearce will trim his party to 23 on 1 June, with the European Championship kicking off on 11 June.
England Under-21s will face Spain, Ukraine and the Czech Republic in the group stages on 12, 15 and 19 June respectively.