Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain say he still holds dear the advice given to him by former Gunners captain Robin van Persie.
The 19-year-old has been in and out of Arsene Wenger’s starting XI in recent weeks after looking more like a first choice late last season and earlier this.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain is insistent he is not worried about flitting between the bench and the pitch, citing some words said to him by Manchester United’s new best player.
The young England international joined the Gunners in 2011 and has had runs in the first team but boss Wenger has yet to give him a cemented starting XI place, but Van Persie’s words to him last year have stopped ‘The Ox’ worrying about the situation.
“I can remember last season, Robin van Persie came and spoke to me. He said ‘When I was first at the Club, I didn’t start, the boss used to take me in and out’,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“Look at the season he had last season, he was a key player. It was the same with Theo. You’ve got to bide your time, especially when you’re young.”
Van Persie left Arsenal to join rivals Manchester United last summer in a deal worth a reported £24million.
The Dutchman has continued his remarkable scoring from his last season with the north London club since moving to Old Traffrod and is on course to win the Premeir League golden boot for a second year running.
Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain was awarded a start in the victory over Stoke City at the weekend, where a deflected Lukas Podolski free-kick secured three points at Emirates Stadium.
The former Southampton star was keeping his feet on the ground when he said he is happy with the current situation at Arsenal, though he was determined to make the most of the chances he was given.
Oxlade-Chamberlain also conceded the abundance of talent in the Gunners squad was always going to mean being named among the subs.
“I’m only 19 years of age and I’m at Arsenal Football Club,” he added.
“I know I’ve got to bide my time, and maybe this is one of those times. Just to get a start was really important to me, and I know that when I get the opportunity, I’ve got to make sure I try and take it.
“It’s always nice for the confidence when you get a run of games. I had a few a couple of weeks ago, I think I played maybe five or six games on the spin and that was nice.
“I’ve got to expect to sometimes be pulled out because we’ve got so many talented players at this football club.
“Everybody wants to play so you’ve got to take being taken out of the team sometimes, let someone else have a go and make sure you’re ready to come off the bench and affect the games and help the team.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the England squad to take on Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday and he will be expecting to play some part in the game, especially after a few injury dropouts in attack and defence.
Arsenal’s next Premier League fixture is a trip to Sunderland where they will be hoping to build on the hard-fought clean sheet and win over Stoke as they continue their bid to get back into the top four.
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