West Ham's Jack Wilshere

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has compared midfielder Jack Wilshere to Andrea Pirlo, saying the two players have the same traits.

Wilshere returns to his former club Arsenal at the weekend with both sides searching for their first points of the season after defeats in their opening two games.

And Pellegrini said he felt Wilshere, 26, could become a holding midfield player for his new club in the manner of Juventus and Italy legend Pirlo.

“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.”

Pellegrini added that he believed Wilshere would bounce back from a succession of injury problems to recover his best form.

“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 said.

“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.

“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.”

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