The English Youngster: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Much has been made in the press of 17-year-old Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's prodigious talents by the English press.
And the pacy and strong English winger has been linked with clubs including Chelsea and Manchester United, but father Mark revealed earlier this year that he sees Arsenal as the perfect environment for his talented son:
“To develop at a place like Arsenal can’t be a bad thing. In my eyes, I’d like him to go there as soon as possible, and continue his development'', he told daily tabloid The Mirror when asked about his son's future.
The player is also keen to move under French manager Arsene Wenger's tutelage in order to develop his skills and become a better player:
"Obviously you are going to be a bit apprehensive going into the Premier League. But you have to take risks. If you step up and it doesn't work out, you have to hold your hands up. But if you believe in yourself and you're willing to work, which I am, there's endless amounts you can achieve'', he told The Sun in a recent interview.
Starring in the above youtube video, the winger-cum-forward has scored ten league goals for the Saints, who he has been registered with since the age of seven, Chamberlain takes encouragement and inspiration from the achievements of former Southampton youth stars Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, who have become two of the world's best young attacking players after growing as players at Arsenal and Tottenham respectively:
"I guess seeing what has happened with Theo and Gareth inspires me," he said.
"Although they didn't jump straight into the first team when they moved, they've pushed on to better things. So I take confidence from that.''
Any move for the youngster would be expensive, with the Saints rating the player at more than £10 million and perhaps a move which is both risky and long-termist may not completely appease Arsenal fans desperate to improve on last season's mediocre achievements, but it would still be a signal of intent to compete with the very best.
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