Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted he must bide his time until he is a first-team regular like other stars before him.
The former Southampton prodigy has made waves since his arrival in 2011 including breaking into the England national team, however this season he has been in and out of Wenger’s side with just 15 starts in all competitions.
The 19-year-old realizes he will not start every match but is eager to make an impression whenever he gets his chance. Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal’s official website after playing over an hour against Stoke City on the weekend:
I’m only 19 years of age and I’m at Arsenal Football Club. I know I’ve got to bide my time, and maybe this is one of those times. Just to get a start was really important to me, and I know that when I get the opportunity, I’ve got to make sure I try and take it.
It’s always nice for the confidence when you get a run of games. I had a few a couple of weeks ago, I think I played maybe five or six games on the spin and that was nice. I’ve got to expect to sometimes be pulled out because we’ve got so many talented players at this football club.
Everybody wants to play so you’ve got to take being taken out of the team sometimes, let someone else have a go and make sure you’re ready to come off the bench and affect the games and help the team.
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I can remember last season, Robin van Persie came and spoke to me. He said ‘When I was first at the Club, I didn’t start, the boss used to take me in and out’. Look at the season he had last season, he was a key player. It was the same with Theo. You’ve got to bide your time, especially when you’re young.
The Englishman burst onto the scene last season with some superb performances and even started this campaign as a first choice winger ahead of Theo Walcott, however he has suffered a dip in form of late with injury and illness affecting his momentum in the first team.
There is no doubt he has a big future ahead with the Gunners and he will very important for England along with the likes of Wilshere, Walcott and Gibbs, but the small dosage of ‘second season syndrome’ is a temporary thing and we will expect to see Oxlade-Chamberlain ripping up the Premier League soon.
He seems to have lost some of his confidence that helped him through his debut fixtures where he earned plenty of plaudits, but like the mature 19-year-old said he must remain patient and work hard and then he will become a regular.