Wenger – The Ox joined Arsenal to become an England candidate

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has only made one Premiership start for Arsenal, but his performance against Manchester United impressed everyone that was watching the game including the England manager Fabio Capello.

Arsene Wenger now believes that The Ox can now become a regular first-team player for the Gunners and earn a place at this summer’s Euro2012 tournament, and he is sure that the 18 year-old chose to join Arsenal because he knew that Wenger could fast-track him into the England side.

Wenger said: “The next three months will tell you if he is ready for the Euros.

“In September he was just a boy – but suddenly he looks like he can produce under pressure.

“He has started in just one game, so let’s see how he does – I do not want to rule the Euros out for him.

“Just because you are 18 years old does not mean you should never play. It is up to him now to see whether he could go.

“If he does well then there’s no reason why not.

“Theo went to the World Cup at 17 and didn’t play. But he hadn’t even played in the Premier League at that stage.

“This would not be the same ­situation as that.

“I believe to be an England player you have to start in the team at the top level at 18.

“Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney all played at 18 and if you don’t make it at that age there are only one or two that come in later.

“The base of the side are basically ones that were top level at 18.

“I believe Chamberlain chose us because he knew he would have a chance if he did well. We are not scared to play young players if they deserve it.

“I think our policy may have been a decisive factor in getting him here.”

So it looks like Oxlade-Chamberlain has always been ambitious but also has his head screwed on correctly. His progress has been amazing and there is no reason why he can’t go on to become one of England’s biggest stars in the next few years if he keeps his feet on the ground.

So who says Wenger only buys duds?

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