Arsenal’s young star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to surpass his father’s either England caps and is willing to work hard to ‘make it’.
After recently moving to North London from Southampton for a substantial fee believed to be around £12m (can rise to £15m), Oxlade-Chamberlain became Wenger’s most expensive purchase of the summer, and after just turning 18 years old, many eyebrows were raised. The Englishman impressed recently in the U21 Euro matches, but he is not getting ahead of himself yet:
“Things are looking good but there’s plenty I still need to do if I want to play for England one day, like my dad did,” he said. “And hopefully win a few more caps than he did!
“I always knew I wanted to be a footballer and, as long as that was my aim, then my dad would do everything to help me achieve it.
“My mum kept me concentrating on my schoolwork at the same time so it was a good balance. I think my friends always thought I’d make it but you can keep saying it as much as you like – there’s still a lot of hard work to do before it happens.”
His father Mark Chamberlain enjoyed a distinguished 20-year career with a number of clubs including Port Vale, Stoke and Portsmouth, racking up over 500 appearances along the way. Alex says the former midfielder had a big influence on his sparkling career.
“He’s hands-on when he needs to be – he’ll let me know when I’m not doing well or need to improve something, and he gives me plenty of good advice.
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“When I do well, though, he won’t go over the top – he’ll quietly say ‘well done’, and point out where I could still improve. He’ll never let me get ahead of myself and it’s the same with my mum, even if she gets a bit more excited!
“My dad’s very calm and he does things in the right way for me – I understand him, and he’ll always be honest about how I’m doing.
“I still realise now that I haven’t reached the pinnacles I plan to, so I wouldn’t say I’ve made it yet either.”
It is very satisfying to see Oxlade-Chamberlain not getting ahead of himself and being composed over his future. We have all seen what an ego can do to your career (note Nicklas Bendtner), but rather he is choosing to be calm but willing to put in the hard work similar to Theo Walcott in order to reach the top. He is yet to make a Premier League start, but after making a brief cameo against United two weekends ago, he should get his chance to shine in the upcoming Cup matches.