Arsene Wenger confirms this England star is close to being in Arsenal starting XI
Arene Wenger has claimed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is edging closer to being a regular in Arsenal starting XI.
The talented winger was the star of the show last night as he netted twice in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Reading in the EFL Cup.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored either side of half-time to book Arsenal a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.
The 23-year-old has netted five goals for the Gunners this term, but he is still yet to cement himself a regular starting role with the likes of Theo Walcott, Mohamed Elneny, and Alex Iwobi all trying to stake a claim.
Asked about competition between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott, Wenger said: “They are lifting each other but they can also play on both flanks.”
Wenger believes Oxlade-Chamberlain has taken his chances well this season and could get more game time in the near future.
“He’s not a long way away from the starting XI because he played against Ludogorets, he played here which was expected, but Ludogorets was a very important game,” he added.
“He came on against Middlesbrough on Saturday and I feel that he is regularly involved.”
The midfielder will be hoping his goals last night could see him start when Arsenal travel to Sunderland on Saturday.
The England winger recently expressed his unhappiness at his lack of game time at the Emirates Stadium and had completed 90 minutes on just two occasions this season heading into the clash with the Royals.
Despite not featuring as much as he would like, Oxlade-Chamberlain has now scored five goals this season – his best return since he joined in 2011 – as he struck in either half to give Arsene Wenger’s much-changed side a 2-0 victory and a place in the last eight of the competition.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been kept out of the side in part because of Walcott’s strong form this season, with the England forward-looking rejuvenated after moving back to the right wing. But Wenger said Walcott’s success is only spurring Oxlade-Chamberlain on to have a similar impact.
At 23, Oxlade-Chamberlain is now at an age where Wenger says he will become “a football player who is the finished article.”
He was one of the most experienced Arsenal players on the pitch Tuesday, with Wenger resting most of his regular starters in the competition to blood some of his youngsters.
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