Crouch: Wilshere would have given all for U21s
After impressing on loan at Bolton in the second-half of 2009/10, the 19-year-old enjoyed a hugely successful first full season for the Gunners, proving an influential part of the Arsenal squad, making 35 league appearances, as well as breaking into the senior England set-up under Fabio Capello.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger voiced his concerns that his young Gunner would suffer from burnout if he played in the upcoming under-21 finals, and although the starlet was named in the provisional squad, manager Stuart Pearce later confirmed that Wilshere would not be taking part.
Crouch believes that his compatriot will only feel fresher going into pre-season if he spends the summer recuperating.
Speaking at the launch of The FA and MARS Just Play scheme in London, a brand new nationwide initiative aiming to get adults in England playing regular football, Crouch said:
"Jack Wilshere has come into the Arsenal team playing every week, and it's hard, and he could burn himself out if he plays too much. I think that can be a real possibility if he plays too many games. And having played for the senior team as well I think it is right that he doesn't play for the under-21s.
"Jack's very proud and privileged to play for his country, as am I, and if he was selected then of course he would have gone and given his all but I think it's probably a wise decision that he hasn't [been selected]."
The FA and MARS Just Play scheme aims to get a 150,000 new participants playing the game for at least 30 minutes a week by September 2013.
By Matt Maltby