Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has made more appearances for Arsenal this season than any other player, but the England midfielder still feels he is being held back by fitness and injury issues.
Star man Alexis Sanchez is the only player who can match Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 32 appearances this season, with the Englishman making a seasonal-best 21 starts for the Gunners this term having not made that many in any other campaign since his move from Southampton in 2011.
Troublesome knee injuries
Oxlade-Chamberlain has faced serious knee injuries already in his career, most recently suffering knee ligament damage in his right knee on the eve of the World Cup, ending his England dream.
The former Southampton youngster said: “I think a lot of that is to do with the physicality, just growing up and becoming stronger definitely helps. I don’t think that until you get to around 24 or 25 that you are fully at your peak in terms of physicality, so I am not there yet.
"I think a lot of that is to do with the physicality, just growing up and becoming stronger definitely helps. I don’t think that until you get to around 24 or 25 that you are fully at your peak in terms of physicality, so I am not there yet"
“Since my long-term knee injury, I have had quite a lot of injuries this year, with a few niggles and groin problems, but I’ve played through all of it and even when I’ve been in discomfort for most of the games, I have been able to manage it. I feel that is holding me back at the moment.”
Article continues below
Room for improvement
Oxlade-Chamberlain feels he is enjoying his best season yet but is still working on improving his game, according to the Evening Standard.
He said: “I think I’m better running with it than I am without. When I look at Theo [Walcott] and the runs he makes off the ball, I think I’ve got to improve a bit because Theo does it so well.
“That’s where my game has mostly developed. Defending, positioning and stuff like that you learn through experience.
“I think I have come on in that sense. There’s more to come from me, more improving that I can do and hopefully will do.”
Injury doubt again
The youngster is suffering from a niggling groin injury which makes him a doubt for Saturday’s north London derby with rivals Spurs, but when he does return, he is looking to add to his one goal and one assist in 21 Premier League appearance this season.
“There is a lot more to come from me. It is all about end product — goals and assists — so I know I have got to improve there.”