Lampard: Wilshere ready for England

LONDON - Arsenal's teenage midfielder Jack Wilshere, who will make his first international start against Denmark on Wednesday, has the mental attitude and ability to shine for England, stand-in captain Frank Lampard said.

The 19-year-old, who has been an important part of Arsenal's Premier League title charge this season, will play alongside Lampard in a makeshift England team weakened by injuries.

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"I don't think he needs much help the way he is playing," Lampard told reporters in Copenhagen.

"I think he has been fantastic for Arsenal. Some people look like they might take a while to adjust to the international setup, but he looks like he has the ability and the mental attitude about him to fit straight in.

"I will try and help him next to me if he needs any help, but he is a fantastic player."

Wilshere, who has played 31 games for Arsenal this season, became England's 10th youngest player when he came on as a late substitute in a friendly against Hungary in August to win his first and only cap.

With Liverpool's Steven Gerrard missing Wednesday's game with a groin injury sustained against Chelsea on Sunday, England manager Fabio Capello said Wilshere will start in a defensive midfield role in the friendly.

"I monitored Wilshere for a long time at the start of the season and he played well but was not ready for the seniors," Capello said.

"The last two months he has improved, he is confident and the other Arsenal players are confident with him. I spoke to (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger about the position to play him in on Wednesday and he said he was good going forward and also playing further back.

"I hope the option tomorrow will be for him to stay in front of the back four, like a centre-back."

Lampard, 32, will lead England against Denmark after injuries ruled out regular skipper Rio Ferdinand and vice-captain Gerrard.

Capello said Ashley Cole would start and become England's most capped fullback while Aston Villa's new 24 million pounds signing Darren Bent would play up front.

"I've been in the squad for a long time now and I've got to a point where I am one of the old stagers," Lampard added. "It will be one of the proudest moments of my career.

"I'll try and do what I do for Chelsea. I'm not going to change just because of the armband. The team will always need leaders and I will try and do my usual job but try and have an influence on the team."