Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces crucial season with Arsenal

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is hardly an unknown quantity. Indeed, next weekend it will be four years since he completed his move to the Gunners as a fresh-faced teenager from Southampton.

Much has happened in the interim, with Oxlade-Chamberlain establishing himself as an England international, whilst also playing a part in Arsenal's back-to-back FA Cup successes.

The 21-year-old is still, though, not guaranteed a regular place in the Arsenal starting line-up, such is the quality of the competition at Emirates Stadium.


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There were concerns last season that Oxlade-Chamberlain, for all his pace and power, wasn't efficient enough in front of goal, with one goal in 23 Premier League appearances last season appearing to support that claim.

However, he has enjoyed an excellent pre-season this summer and took that good form into yesterday's Community Shield fixture against Chelsea when, deployed on the right flank, he scored the only goal of the game with a sweet strike.

The 21-year-old has readily admitted that he is seeking to add more goals to his game and, what's more, with Theo Walcott set to be used more regularly as a central striker, a void may open up for him to play regularly on the right wing.

Still cooking

He is a player that has endured himself to the club's supporters during his time at Arsenal owing to his enthusiasm and also his determination to quickly make amends whenever he makes a mistakes.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is still raw in some aspects of his game, though, and has been known to squander possession in dangerous situations, as shown in the Champions League fixture against Monaco last season.

It is worth focusing on his qualities, however. Oxlade-Chamberlain fits perfectly into Arsenal's style of play. He is confident on the ball, very quick and a good crosser.

Changing places

There have been suggestions in some quarters that Oxlade-Chamberlain's future is as a central-midfielder, but question marks over his vision and ability to pick a pass under pressure remain.

For now, Oxlade-Chamberlain seems best suited to playing out wide and he will be hoping to show some much-needed consistency this season and nail down a regular starting slot in the process.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Premier League

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