Many eyebrows were raised when the youngster was bought from Southampton in the summer, but the England U21 winger has produced plenty of encouraging performances for club and country. He elevated his status to a crowd favourite on the weekend after a quality performance during his full Premier League debut against Manchester United, providing an assist for Van Persie’s goal.
Wenger has chosen to be extremely patient with the development of Oxlade-Chamberlain, attempting to not thrust him into the lime light and put too much pressure on his young shoulders.
The 18-year-old told Arsenal Player:
I was happy to get a start and obviously against opposition like Man United – it doesn’t come any better than that.
I guess it does [show Wenger has faith in him] and that is a positive for me to take away, having the boss’ trust. I’ve got to make sure I repay that with my performances, working hard in training and when I’m on the pitch.
Overall I was happy with my performance and happy to contribute to Robin’s goal. It was positive for me and mentally it puts you in a good position.
That can always change in football though – you can have one good game and the next game is a bad one. You’ve got to deal with the highs and the lows. It was a nice performance from me and I’ve got to make sure I keep my place now.
For the past couple of months we here at AllArsenal.com have believed that Oxlade-Chamberlain should be starting for the Gunners as he is a more complete player than many that feature at present such as Arshavin and even Theo Walcott. Gervinho too has been extremely frustrating at times, however has justified his starting place with goals and assists to boot.
‘The Ox’ deserved the start on Sunday and proved us right with an electrifying performance and he should surely be in line for more starts in the next few weeks, and has certainly justified his place ahead of the ineffective Arshavin.