Arsene Wenger has had many years of bringing youngsters through to the Arsenal first team and he has now found out that there is a danger to their growing bones if they are overplayed before they are fully developed.
With that in mind Wenger is worried about playing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain too much, despite the Arsenal fans believing that the 18 year-old is more than capable of holding his own in the big games.
“His feet are on the ground but we have to manage him in a responsible way as well,” Wenger said. “The problem when you have a talented player like that is that everybody wants him to play every single game. If you do that then he will be injured.”
Wenger was forced to play Chamberlain in central midfield against AC Milan due to injuries, but he is adamant that he is still too young to be given so much responsibility just yet.
“I don’t think he is ready yet to play in a central midfield position in a consistent way.” Wenger continued.
“I am a great admirer but it is difficult to slow the enthusiasm down on the expectation level.
We all know that Jack Wilshere suffered from burn out last season and Wenger is right to try and avoid the same thing happening to Chamberlain, but the Arsenal fans will still be upset when they see him on the bench!
“Honestly, he is 18 years old. Look anywhere in Europe and there are some talented 18-year-olds who play in the Champions League. He is already ahead because we give him a chance.”