COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to impress if he is named in Arsenal’s starting line-up against Southampton on Wednesday night.
The 23-year-old has fallen down the pecking order this season at the Emirates and faces tough competition for a wide role.
The Gunners host the Saints in the EFL Cup quarter-final and manager Arsene Wenger is pursuing a first trophy since the FA Cup in 2015.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has played a major role in the club’s League Cup competitions this season, with three goals against Nottingham Forest and Reading in the previous rounds.
The winger has excelled in the tournament, but has not scored in the Premier League since the opening day of the season.
He has made 18 appearances in all competitions this campaign and completed 90 minutes on just two occasions.
Oxlade-Chamberlain faces tough competition for a place in the starting XI, with Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi impressing this season.
Wenger handed Oxlade-Chamberlain a rare start in the club’s 3-1 victory against Bournemouth on Sunday and he failed to provide the finishing touches in the final third.
The midfielder will be keen to contribute with more goals in the future and could show that against the club that nurtured him as a youngster.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of many stars to come out of Southampton’s academy and has shown real promise in an Arsenal shirt, scoring 19 times in 167 appearances.
He has also shown his qualities for England during his 24 international caps, but has not played for his country since 2015.
Arsenal’s clash against Southampton could be the perfect opportunity for Oxlade-Chamberlain to remind the people of his ability.
In other Arsenal news, a BBC pundit has named the player who should replace Santi Cazorla.