Jack Wilshere reckons his long injury absence could eventually help prolong his career at the top.
The Arsenal midfielder's form is increasingly impressive 12 games into a comeback from ankle and knee problems which kept him out of competitive action for almost 16 months.
Wilshere suffered the initial injury while playing for England against Switzerland in what was the then 19-year-old's 54th game of the 2010/11 season.
He said: "When I look back now, I could probably have done with a break, having played so much the previous season.
"Obviously I didn't want the break to be so long - in fact I didn't want to have a break at all - but if I look back on this in 10 years' time, it might have done me some good in the long run.
"Cesc Fabregas used to say to me 'take it easy, don't play too many games'. Obviously I didn't want to have a year off, but when I'm 24 or 25 I won't have played as many games as someone like Cesc and that will help me."
Wilshere's form this season has impressed new team-mate Santi Cazorla, who said: "He has amazing potential.
"I did not know him well when I arrived because he was not at the training sessions, and everyone was already talking about him, saying that when he returned, the team would improve. That has been the case.
"Every day he is gaining more confidence, he is forgetting about the injury, and he is a key player that can influence the result in a game."