Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits he could loose his place to England new-boy and Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is keeping the more experienced winger ‘on his toes’.
The Ox was one of the surprise inclusions in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad for the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament, and looks certain to play more than a bit-part role as most initially expected.
Reports are suggesting that Hodgson has yet to decide who will start on the left wing ahead of their Group D opener with France early next week, so the young Gunner may still have a shot at starting the Euro 2012 campaign on high.
Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first start against Belgium last week, a week after gaining his first cap against Norway. He impressed in both matches with glimpses of brilliance and Downing believes competition is fierce between the two.
Downing told reporters:
I think we saw a glimpse of his talent at the weekend
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He’s an exciting player, who can run with the ball and it is good competition for me.
He keeps me on my toes and whoever the manager decides to go with then we’ll just have to keep fighting for our place.
Downing has 33 caps with 0 goals, and also wielded an unimpressive 0 goals and 0 assists in his first season with Liverpool. He was dangerous at Aston Villa, but has looked a shadow of the player that commanded a £20m price tag upon moving to Anfield.
He is however an excellent crosser, but Oxlade-Chamberlain has everything else over his countryman except the vital ingredient – experience. Whether Chambo starts or not he will still get a chance to shine on the international stage and he will have the mentality and maturity to produce.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the Ox should start ahead of Downing? Feel free to comment below or on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fan page