Jack Wilshere has said he wants to help young players coming through the Arsenal ranks, just as Kolo Toure, Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas did for him in the past.

Wilshere broke into the Arsenal team at a very young age, and was a first-team regular by the time he was 18. The midfielder has said he had the help of senior players at the club, namely Kolo Toure, Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

“When I first got into the squad Kolo Toure was brilliant for me,” he said, reports the Express. “And when I first got into the team, I was playing next to Fabregas, who was captain, and Alex Song. Cesc had come through at a similar age to me so he knew the pressure I was under and he was great for me too.”

The trio of Song, Wilshere and Fabregas had a strong understanding during the 2010/2011 season, but Wilshere’s injury and Fabregas’ departure meant we never saw them play together again.

Several years later, Wilshere is now one of the more senior members of the squad and is now witnessing a number of young players come into the team. Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Josh Dasilva and Marcus McGuane have all made their debuts this season, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has received more first-team football following a successful loan at Ipswich.

Having found himself as one of the oldest players on the pitch against BATE Borisov and Doncaster Rovers, Wilshere now wants to help these young players as they get settled into first team life.

“If they need help I’ll be there,” he said. “I can remember when I was in their position and if you had an experienced player talking to you and encouraging you during a game, that always helped. The boys coming through now all have lots of individual quality and have enough to make a career at the club. 

“They all want to learn and I think it’s crazy that Reiss [Nelson] is only 17 – it makes me feel old. They’ll learn from every experience they have. Ainsley [Maitland-Niles] is playing out of position but it’s going to be good for him going forward in his career.”

Wilshere has returned to first-team action following a leg fracture and is playing for a new contract at Arsenal, having spent the previous campaign on loan with Bournemouth. The 25-year-old’s current deal is up next summer and there isn’t a new deal on the table for him yet.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,