Arsene Wenger was quick to praise the performance of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in defeat for Arsenal last night.
The teenage winger, who joined the Gunners from Southampton in the summer transfer window, has showed glimpses of his potential in League Cup matches, as well as cameo appearances in the Barclays Premier League and Champions League earlier in the campaign.
An England U21 international, the 18-year-old has made quick strides forward following the Emirates switch, and Wenger believes his latest star-in-the-making is on the verge of something potentially big in north London.
"Chamberlain the whole night looked like he could deliver something special and he has shown already he has moved forward. He has improved a lot," reflected Wenger post-match.
"The experience shows that it is good sometimes to be positive and patient.
"I was very patient with him until now and it is important sometimes to hold them back a little bit and keep them on the training ground."
Wenger's comments come in the wake of growing calls from supporters to give the reported £12 million signing more frequent first team chances in the capital.
Signed as 'one for the future', the Frenchman has so far been able to keep the winger under relative wraps thus far, but Oxlade-Chamberlain's consistency is making him a genuine contender for regular action.
"(I was surprised) by the consistency of his game. You pushed him off the ball too easily two months ago," Wenger added.
"His strength and endurance is now there and that is important at the top level of course."
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