Arsenal winger hoping for World Cup spot despite knee injury

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed he is targeting a place in England's World Cup squad despite missing the first half of the season with a serious knee injury.

The 20-year-old only managed 45 minutes of football in the opening day loss to Aston Villa before leaving the field with an injury that has since kept him out for five months.

But Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to full training with the news that his Arsenal team mate Theo Walcott will miss the rest of the season and the World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, giving the former Southampton youngster a chance to impress for club and country.

He is scheduled to return in Arsenal's under-21 fixture against Fulham on Thursday and, all being well, is pencilled in for a first-team return shortly after.

The flying winger has already shown Roy Hodgson what he can bring to the England squad, scoring a sensational goal against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium last June and is targeting a return to South America with England next summer.

"As a young guy growing up watching football and watching World Cups, this will be my first one (that I can play in)," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.

"Obviously I went to the Euros (2012 in Poland/Ukraine), which was an amazing experience - and that's a massive achievement for me personally, especially as an 18-year-old boy. That was really special.

"But the World Cup is always that little bit more special because it is the world stage. If I was able to be selected and go to Brazil it would be a dream come true and something that I am definitely striving towards.

"Although for now I am just focused on getting back in and around the Arsenal team and helping us do well this season, (going to) the World Cup is definitely something I would like to achieve."

The Ox, as he is affectionately known, returns at a perfect time for Arsene Wenger, who is looking to consolidate Arsenal's position at the top of the league.

Just two points separates the top three teams and Wenger knows he faces a fight to fend off the powerhouses Chelsea and Manchester City.

MIkel Arteta, however, is confident Arsenal can maintain the challenge despite the competition.

"The Premier League this year is the most difficult one since it has existed," the Spaniard said.

"I think you have four or five teams looking to win it. We are going to put everything in to win it.

"We had a little spell where we had a difficult time, but we have come back and we are feeling good."

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World Cup
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Premier League
England Football

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