Ahead of today’s Barclay’s Premier League match with Southampton which sees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain face his old side for the first time since he left to join Arsenal last summer, Arsene Wenger has been speaking about how The Ox’s progress has surprised him.
Joining Southampton at the age of just seven, in his short time with Arsenal Oxlade-Chamberlain is already a regular England starter, lining up for his national side in both of their World Cup qualifiers during the recent international break. Of course, most of the credit so far needs to go to Southampton who were the ones to identify and nurture his talent to a level which has allowed Arsenal to benefit, and at just 19, it is clear there is much more to come from him Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger said
“I didn’t expect him to be in the national team at the moment. He is ahead of what I have planned. Honestly, because I feel he needs to get tactical urgency, for him it is good [to play for England at such a young age].
“It could be bad if he was a bit big-headed, but he is very level-headed, very humble. So I think it’s good to experience the tactical level of the other players in England.
“When you come from youth-team football basically to that level, it’s like you go from primary school to university. And you have to learn quickly.
“It can be damaging if a guy thinks ‘Hey, look who I am’, but he is not like that. In his case it’s good.”
That’s one of the things you really notice with Alex, his down-to-earth nature and level-headedness. While some players his age are running around screaming ‘DENCH’ whenever they get a chance, he shows a maturity beyond his years.
Long may it last.------------
LadyArse is selling the Arsenal Tshirts domain, get your hands on www.arsenaltshirts.com here