By 90Min
August 24, 2018

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has compared midfielder Jack Wilshere to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo, suggesting the two players possess similar characteristics.

The Chilean manager made the comments ahead of West Ham's match against Arsenal this weekend, which will see Wilshere take on the club he left earlier this summer. 

Both sides are still searching for their first points of the season having suffered defeat in both of their opening two matches.

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Speaking prior to the game via ESPN, Pellegrini compared Wilshere to Pirlo and suggested that the 26-year-old could perform a similar role for his new club.

"A lot of you will remember Juventus around four or five years ago, they played with one holding midfielder. It was Pirlo. And Pirlo is the same as Jack. He has the same characteristics as Jack," he said.

"I think that Jack Wilshere must play as Jack Wilshere. He is not a defensive midfielder to hold the line. He is a midfielder more comfortable when he comes out from our side and not receiving the ball back from the other goal."

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Pellegrini also backed Wilshere to put his injury problems behind him, having seen both is Arsenal and England careers derailed by a series of absences.

"If he could play in a normal shape without injury, he was always a player who makes a difference because he is a different player," he added.

"I am sure [Wilshere will recover his best form] because he is just 26 years old, because he knows better how he must manage his physical work, so as not to be injured.

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"He just has to recover his trust in what he can do. Maybe his career was not all at his top [level] because he had a lot of injuries. So I think at this moment we must give him trust, let him play, because I repeat what I said - he is a different player and he will do it."

West Ham take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.

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