Young Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 17, has revealed to the Sunthat he wishes to follow former Saints players Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott into the Barclays Premier League.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was instrumental to the Saints promotion to the Championship last season, scoring ten goals and making it into PFA League One team of the year. This potential has seen him be considered as hot property for a range of top clubs, being touted as one of England’s most exciting young players.
Amongst other clubs, Arsenal has been heavily linked with the young Englishmen with father, former England player Mark Chamberlain, saying: “I’d like to see him there [Arsenal] as soon as possible.”
The young Englishman had this to say on the situation: “I just feel that I am ready to play in the Premier League. I think I can take a lot of encouragement and confidence from what Theo – and Gareth Bale at Spurs – have done.
“When you look at a player like Jack Wilshere at Arsenal, he was only a year above me in the academies.
“He played in a tournament that I was in as a youngster and even then you could see he was going to be unbelievable.
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“The same as Gareth and Theo, and with the other players my age that have made the step up, like Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones. There’s no barrier on the age you have to be to play in the Premier League. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to prove that.”
Although there is no doubt he has a great amount of potential, I see no need to sign such a player into a relatively young team with players that are still yet to reach their peak, especially with Wenger being knocked back after a significant £8m bid. With the likes of Theo Walcott, newly signed Gervinho, Arshavin, Rosicky and potentially Nasri in the first team his services are not really needed in a attacking midfield that is hardly filled with players on their last legs, nor players not fit for first team play.
I would rather Wenger invest such a substantial amount of money in a signing that would bring success NOW. £8m is a significant amount of money, and surely would would help on top of any bid that Arsenal may have failed in or are not willing to pay for due to a high asking price. With huge pressure on Arsene for silverware it must be said that he must use his funds wisely, because if he does indeed decide to spend on more young players this time he might not be around to see all that potential fulfilled.