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Arsenal star: Being dropped from the team has been a wake-up call

By Alex Taylor

Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted his shock after being left out of Sam Allardyce’s opening England squad.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has now been included in Gareth Southgate’s team to face Malta and Slovenia but was set to play no part in the qualifies under Allardyce.

The former England boss left the role by mutual consent on 27 September, having managed the team for just 67 days and one match.

“I was disappointed,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the Daily Mail. “I had hoped to be involved.

“I felt strong so I was disappointed. You shouldn’t just be able to walk into an England squad. But having been involved in a fair few, especially under Roy Hodgson, I guess it was a bit different for me to be left out.

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“It was a wake-up call. It made me realise how special it is and it is something I want to keep happening.”

The youngster has struggled to force his way back in Arsene Wenger’s side this season after slipping behind Alex Iwobi in the pecking order.

Oxlade-Chamberlain would have hoped to return to regular club and national team action after recovering from two knee injuries in recent years, but no such re-emergence has occurred.

The pacy winger is understood to have held discussions with Wenger in a bid to improve his consistency at the club but is said not to be considering a loan-move to re-discover his form.

The former Southampton starlet has played eight matches this season, scoring two goals and providing one assist in all competitions.

In other Arsenal news, Alex Iwobi is in line for a bumper new contract six months after signing his previous deal, according to report.