Emirates starlet tipped for the top.
England U21 manager Stuart Pearce insists Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can only get “better and better” – both for club and country.
The 18-year-old is in line to face Iceland in tomorrow night’s U21 European Championship Group 8 qualifier, having ran riot when smashing a hat-trick in Reykjavik last month.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the Gunners from Southampton in a £12million deal during the summer, but has made only four appearances so far.
Those, however, have included impressive displays, capped by a goal, against both Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup and Olympiacos in the Champions League.
Pearce feels Oxlade-Chamberlain has all the attributes to make a successful career.
“If you roll the clock back, it was probably a similar situation with Theo (Walcott), when he was playing regularly for the U21s, he was not playing a lot for Arsenal,” Pearce said.
“At the moment, Alex is in a similar position. Every 90 minutes he can get, whether it be international or club football, will benefit him greatly.”
“He is a good enough talent that someone has paid £12million for him, so certainly Arsenal believe he is a real talent, I know Southampton did.
“Alex has played extremely well for us, so he is an improving talent.
“I think he will get better and better the more games he plays.
“He is a very level-headed lad and it is important they have a sensible head on their shoulders to see them through not just the good times, but the bad times as well.
“He will have a bit of both right through his career, that is for sure.”
Pearce, though, maintains the youngster is anything but the finished article.
“There were one or two things in Norway which we were not happy with in regards to his play,” the England Under-21 coach added.
“But the only way you find that out is by putting him on the pitch, letting him make mistakes, flourish and praise him for the good things, then give him pointers to improve.
“That, though, is the case for all of our players in the squad.”