The 20 year old featured in the club’s opening day defeat to Aston Villa, but was substituted at half time after picking up a knee injury which has kept him out of action for the last two months and is not expected to return to action until late next month.
The England international concedes that he will have to work hard to earn a place in the Gunners starting line up but says he is relishing the competition for places.
According to Sky Sports, he told the Sun:
Things can change quickly in football. When you’re at a great club like Arsenal, which has the strength in depth it has, you know you’ve got to raise your levels to stand a chance of playing.
Competition has gone up again but you can’t feel frustrated. If you think like that, you start losing focus.
If you look at us now, if everyone was fit we’d have an unbelievably strong squad and it will be a huge challenge to get back in the team.
But I’m confident in my ability so, when I get the chance, I will have to take it.
Oxlade-Chamberlain suggests that his immediate focus will be on regaining fitness and then helping the Gunners challenge for the Premier League title. He added:
Ever since I’ve been at Arsenal we’ve seen ourselves as title contenders but, most times before, we haven’t got off to such good starts.
The thing is to be up there as quickly as possible and stay there for as long as possible – hopefully right to the end.
Chamberlain flourished with the Gunners in preseason, which earned him a place in the starting line up for Arsenal’s first competitive match of the season against Villa.
He may find it difficult upon his return to actually get into the Arsenal team. The acquisition of Mesut Ozil has had more effects on the midfield than you may have originally thought. Cazorla, Wilshere and Rosicky are being rotated on the wings and with Podolski and Walcott coming back in the next few weeks he has his task cut out to crack the starting line up.
He might not get as much game time as he got last season but I think he is capable of challenging the likes of Walcott and Podolski for that position out wide. The return of our wingers will give a boost to the team as it would add a new dimension to our attack.
Can Oxlade-Chamberlain challenge for a first team spot when he returns from injury? Share your thoughts in the comments below.