Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is hoping to take full advantage of his time in the England squad and learn from some of the experienced players within the camp.
The Southampton academy graduate has made an impressive start to life at the Emirates Stadium, featuring 26-times in all competitions after a £12 million move from St Mary’s last summer.
His form at the end of the campaign has been particularly impressive, leading to a first call-up for the senior Three Lions side from manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
The 18-year-old feels like he still has plenty to prove though, and is aiming to learn from some of the players he’s idolised as a boy growing up.
“Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are players I’ve been watching for years and idolise. I’ve got great respect for all of them and to have the opportunity to be with them, train with them and learn from them is something I’m really looking forward to,” he told The Sun.
“There’s so much experience in that team so it would be an added bonus to play a few games.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain could get his first chance against Norway on Saturday night, with Hodgson set to shuffle his pack with and look at options as Euro 2012 draws ever closer.
The friendly against Belgium on June 2nd will be a final dress rehearsal before the Group D opener against France, and ‘the Ox’ will be hoping to make his mark before that match to try and get in contention.
“To get the call from the England manager is unbelievable. He told me I was being selected on merit and that he’d put me in the squad because he felt I could help the team,” continued Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“He mentioned that he’d seen me do well against AC Milan when I played in central midfield and that it was up to me to prove him right.
“Straight away that gave me a massive incentive to know you have a manager who believes in you and trusts you. It brought a big smile to my face.
“I’m going to do everything to show he was right to pick me.”