Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has taken yet another huge step forward in his career during his first season of top flight football after receiving the call up for England’s Euro 2012 squad.
The 18-year-old joined in a big money move from Southampton and burst onto the scene with some superb performances which saw the Englishman net two goals in his opening two matches for the Arsenal first team.
Theo Walcott too will be on his way to Poland and Ukraine for this summers big tournament, but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s final 23 has come as a surprise for a player that has yet to gain a senior cap.
However he has told Arsenal’s official website that he is ready to take the chance:
I’m obviously delighted, to be picked for your country at any stage is a massive honour and to be at a huge tournament likes the Euros is such a bonus.
I am just looking forward to going there, learning from all the experienced players, training with them and trying my hand at everything. I am absolutely buzzing.
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I got a call this [Wednesday] morning from the manager and he just explained it to me then – that was about two hours before it was announced. He said it was down to merit and I just have to prove him right.
I think I play with no fear, I run at players regardless of who they are and try to make a difference. I have a youthful enthusiasm and I am so excited about this that I will try and take any opportunity with both hands.
I will just try and make things happen, although I know there are other players who can do that. It will just be nice to get the opportunity and I will see what I can do.
I would have probably laughed if someone had told me I would be in the Euro 2012 a year ago
Obviously you would like to think that and it is what you aim towards but sometimes you have to be realistic and realise it might take a little bit longer than that.
So for everything to happen as quickly as it has, it has been surreal and I don’t think it has really sunk in properly yet. I know I haven’t made it and I have a long way to go but this is the first step in what I hope to be a long and successful international career.
It is a good opportunity for me to go and learn from everyone and if I do get a chance, work as hard as I can to make an impression and prove myself.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has certainly lived up to his transfer fee within his first season and many fans expected and hoped to see more from him after some superb performances earlier in the New Year most notably against Blackburn, AC Milan and Manchester United.
But Wenger remained cautious over his latest prodigies development and used him sparingly for the remainder of the campaign despite demonstrating an abundance of confidence and ability.
It is likely that he will not get too many appearances for England during the tournament, but it will be a fantastic learning experience for the youngster and it will give him a chance to impress Hodgson and the coaching staff.
Congratulations to the Ox for this fantastic achievement so early on in his career, and lets hope he can get a chance to carve up on the international stage and show the world what an exciting talent he is!
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