Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must build on his impressive showing against Stoke City if he is to have a future at the Emirates Stadium.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Southampton in a £15million transfer back in the summer of 2011, offered a glimpse of his ability as his side left the Britannia Stadium with a crucial point to their name.
However, his inconsistency is blighting his chances of making the most of his time in north London, and the midfielder must showcase his talents more often if he is to become a regular starter for both club and country.
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Stoke have always been Arsenal’s bogey team – something that dates back to the days where Tony Pulis would insist on bettering the Gunners physically – but they were unable to pip the Londoners to all three points on Sunday afternoon.
Chamberlain started the game in midfield alongside Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey and was one of the biggest causes of optimism after delivering a performance brimming with energy and attacking intent.
He was particularly dangerous when marauding forward from deep positions, though was unable to replicate the creative displays of teammate Mesut Ozil who missed the game through injury.
Nonetheless, his display has given a timely reminder of his talents with the European Championships beckoning in the summer, and manager Roy Hodgson will be hoping he can now push on and nail down a place in the international squad.
Chamberlain can be a huge threat on some days and completely invisible on others, with consistency in short supply ever since he snubbed the advances of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United to sign for Arsenal.
In his debut campaign he scored twice and provided one assist, but in the following four seasons he has found the net just four times and contributed six assists.
There have been some memorable moments – he scored the winner for the Gunners in the 1-0 Community Shield victory over Chelsea back in August, as well as scoring for England against Brazil – yet the reality is he has never looked truly convincing in a red shirt.
Chamberlain must use his display against Stoke as a way to force his way into Wenger’s starting XI and stay there for the foreseeable future.
With Alexis Sanchez feeling his way back from a lengthy layoff, the Chilean is sure to be key in their bid to win the league title.
This could mean he is running out of time to make his mark, and he must improve or face leaving for pastures new in the summer.
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