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Sunday 29 January 2012

Wenger praises Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal boss says young winger has made impressive progress since start of season

Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed in the recent match against Man Utd

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken of his delight at the progress of rising star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The young winger has been tipped to make an impact at the top level and recently impressed when he made his first start for the Gunners in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester United.

Wenger praised Oxlade-Chamberlain's mental approach and said the 18-year-old had also made tremendous physical progress since the start of the season.

"We live in a world of immediacy. I would not have expected him to be so mature in September because he still looked like a boy," he said.

"We have always shown we are willing to take out experienced players and put younger ones in"
- Arsene Wenger

"Now suddenly he looks like he can take pressure and that he has the personality to produce under pressure.

"But he has only really played one game at the top, so let's see how well he does.'"

Wenger said he expected the qualities of Oxlade-Chamberlain to push him into the reckoning for the England squad ahead of the summer's Euro 2012 championship.

"You cannot rule it out and it is not because you are young that you cannot play. We will see in the next three months and if he does well, why not?'' Wenger said.

The Frenchman added: "I believe for an English national team player, you have to start to play at 18 at the top level if you want to become an international player.

"They all played at 18 - John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard.

"I believe that when Oxlade-Chamberlain was making his choices, he knew that he would have a chance here. I think we have always shown we are willing to take out experienced players and put younger ones in when they deserve it."

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Key Points

  • Winger made first start for Arsenal in January
  • 18-year-old signed for Arsenal in summer from Southampton
  • Wenger says youngster has potential to play for England