Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is too self-critical and it’s holding him back.
The veteran French coach has told reporters that the England international must believe in himself more, in order to fulfil his immense potential.
The 22-year-old is capable of winning matches when on-song but has struggled to produce his best form on a consistent basis over recent seasons. Wenger feels that must change in order for the former Southampton starlet to become a key player for both club and country.
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“It is a massive season for Alex because he is now at an age where he is getting picked regularly for Arsenal and for England and he feels the sense of responsibility,” Wenger is quoted as saying by The Sun. “He must believe more in himself and have more confidence in his talent.
“That will help him to develop as a player.
“I think sometimes he is too critical of himself. I would like him to play with freedom and to express the desire of his talent.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain is capable of so much more
Oxlade-Chamberlain looked poised to finally establish himself as a first-team regular under Wenger after scoring the superb winning goal against Chelsea in the Community Shield last month, but he has failed to produce the same level of performance in the Premier League.
Since the 2-0 defeat to West Ham on the opening weekend of the season, Oxlade-Chamberlain has started just once for the Gunners in the league - against Newcastle United on August 29, when he was subbed off in the second half for Mikel Arteta.
In Arsenal’s previous two league matches - against Stoke City and Chelsea - the skilful winger played a total of 23 minutes.
Wenger’s message to Oxlade-Chamberlain is clear: start believing in yourself now, or risk seeing your Arsenal career go down the pan.
Blessed with a huge amount of natural ability, there’s no reason why Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t become a vitally important player for both Arsenal and England over the next couple of seasons.
Arsenal fans: are you worried that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be forced to leave the Gunners in the near future? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!