Wenger: Arsenal midfielder must take this next step to fulfil immense potential
By Alex Taylor
Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must take one final step in his development to fulfill his immense potential.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was limited to just six starts in the Premier league last season and the Daily Express have even claimed Arsenal are ready to cut their losses with the 22-year-old.
The Gunners attacker has long been tipped as the next big thing in England, but injury has so far wrecked his career with a knee problem sustained in February ruling him out of the remainder of the Gunners’ campaign as well as the chance of appearing for England in the European Championships.
“When you look at him, it’s difficult to find something he hasn’t got,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “Maybe he doesn’t completely believe in himself how good he can be. That’s the final step for him.
“It’s a very important season for him. He’s been out for a long, long time.
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“He’s been injury prone. He did not go to the European Championship with England, which he should have done, had he been fit.
“That’s why I will be cautious with him. I will play him for 45 minutes, then an hour, 70 minutes, and hope I can get him fit for the start of the season.”
Arsenal fans will be hoping the winger can follow his manager’s advice and have the self-belief and drive to turn himself into one of the most prolific wide-players in the world.
The Arsenal boss snapped up Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton in 2011 amid some serious competition for his signature and clearly still believes in his young forward ability to perform.
Arsenal are expected to make a serious push for the title next season and have already added Granit Xhaka to their ranks for a fee in the region of £34million.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has two years left on his contract and despite his injury woes, is understood to not want a move away from the Emirates.