Rooney: Wilshere closest thing to Gascoigne I've seen

The young Arsenal star reminds the Manchester United man of the former England international, whom he hopes can recover from his struggles with alcohol addiction

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney feels that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is the closest thing to Paul Gascoigne that English football has produced since the troubled hero’s heyday.

The 21-year-old Gunner caught the eye with a fine performance for England as they beat Brazil in midweek and the United forward sees similarities with the former Tottenham player, who is struggling with alcohol addiction.

“The way [Gascoigne] ran with the ball … probably the closest thing I’ve seen to him is Jack, where he gets the ball and runs at players a lot quicker and a lot stronger than people realise,” Rooney told reporters.

“It’s great to see such a young player come in, against a team like Brazil, and put in a performance like that.”

Gascoigne flew to the United States in early February after suffering a relapse, with his agent, Terry Baker, remarking that he needs “immediate help”, and Rooney hopes that the Three Lions icon can recover.

“It’s a terrible shame about Gazza,” the United star lamented. “My best wishes are with him and I hope he can get himself out of this.

“He was a hero of mine and I used to dream of being like him. It’s so sad for everyone to see what’s happening to him.

“I got to train with him when I was a kid [at Everton],” he enthused. “It was only a couple of times, when I was 14 or 15, I had watched him playing for England for years and to then have him where I was training was great.

“To see the stuff he could do with a ball was brilliant. It was a great ­experience for me. I used to go home and tell my mates, ‘I’ve just trained with Paul Gascoigne’.”

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