Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain already had a big enough job on his hands to nail down a starting spot at Arsenal before the arrival of record signing Mesut Ozil.
Now it looks virtually impossible for the 20-year-old England international, who is yet to establish himself as an Arsenal regular despite his obvious talent.
Barring a couple of injuries to high-profile teammates, Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to spend every big match on the Gunners' bench this season - seriously denting his chances of securing a place in England's 2014 World Cup squad, providing the Three Lions manage to book their place in Brazil, of course.
Sure, he'll still play his fair share of matches, but a player of Oxlade-Chamberlain's class should really be a first-team regular at a Premier League club.
Arsene Wenger can't be blamed for not regarding the former Southampton starlet as one of his first eleven, though. Who does the Frenchman leave out? Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and the aforementioned Ozil are further down the line and capable of doing more damage to opponents.
However, it could be argued that Oxlade-Chaberlain would be a starter at any other Premier League club - with the exception of Chelsea and Manchester City.
Even if he was at Premier League champions Manchester United, you'd imagine he'd occupy the left-wing spot ahead of Ashley Young.
Oxlade-Chamberlain burst onto the scene at the Emirates Stadium during the 2011/12 campaign and looked fearless. However, last season proved a little more difficult for the youngster, who is still adapting to the fierce nature of the Premier League.
But an increase in competition will not help his cause this term. Ozil, at £42.4m, is effectively undroppable, while Cazorla and Walcott are both essential to the way Arsenal play.
That leaves Oxlade-Chamberlain competing with Wilshere and Arteta for a starting role. Arteta, as the experienced head in midfield, is going nowhere fast, and Wilshere - despite his below-par recent form - is not about to relinquish his status as Arsenal's future captain.
The period between now and January, therefore, could pursuade Oxlade-Chamberlain to seriously consider his options.
No doubt rival Premier League clubs will be keeping a close eye on the situation over the next few months - while England boss Roy Hodgson will be keen to see the 20-year-old start for his club regularly if he's to replicate the scenes we saw back in June next summer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a superb equalising goal against Brazil at the redesigned Maracana - another clear indication that this starlet is more than just a bench-warmer.
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