Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ready for first team action at the Emirates?
Despite his team falling to a late defeat to Manchester City last night, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger picked out young winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for praise after the young winger forced opposition goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon into two good saves.
“Chamberlain looked the whole night like he could deliver something special,” claimed Wenger.
“He has shown already he has moved forward considering where he was on the last two months. He has improved a lot already.
“The experience shows it is good sometimes to be positive, and as well patient.
“I was very patient with him until now. I feel it is important sometimes to hold them back a little and keep them on the training ground. He has shown he has improved a lot.
“You pushed him easily off the ball two months ago, but now you could see his resistance in the challenges, his strengths in the duels is there. That is very important.”
It is easy to see Arsene Wenger’s point.
Despite regular comparisons with fellow Southampton graduate Theo Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain appears a more durable physical specimen – especially in upper body strength.
It is that attribute that may result in him being better suited to the central role Walcott craves so much, but like Walcott, he will likely learn his trade on the wing.