The Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has only played a few senior games for the Gunners but he is already being talked about being a superstar of the future for both Arsenal and England.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when Stuart Pearce didn’t pick the OX for England’s friendly game next week, but the caretaker manager was keen to emphasise that this choice didn’t mean that he wouldn’t consider him for the Euro2012 tournament. In fact he thinks he is definitely in contention. Pearce said: “100 per cent, yes, without a doubt.
“I think he would suffer by not playing 90 minutes against Belgium on Wednesday.
“It would be better the U-21s winning a game, possibly qualifying for the Euros in two years’ time. That’s where my eye has got to be with the experience of these young players.”
“I could have brought him in, played him ten minutes and there would have been a scrum from the media. He’d bypassed the under-21s, shouldn’t ever play for the U-21s again.
“If we keep doing that then we will never win at that age group and galvanise a winning formula at the younger age group.
“One or two of these younger players who can play in the under-21s and seniors, there might be an indication they’ve been picked in those squads because they might get game time.”
But Wenger, having seen all this hype on younger players before, was advocating a little more patience before deciding whether Chamberlain was really going to become an England star. He said: “I believe for any player he must play 100 games and then you talk about him,”
“When a player has five or six games in the Premier League every time you have ups and downs.
“He learns his job at the moment. I am a strong believer in Oxlade-Chamberlain and I spent quite good money for him, but he needs time.
“You are not ready from one day to the next at the top, top level.”
Chamberlain is definitely star material, but as we have all seen the Theo Walcott unfold over the years, I am more inclined to go along with Wenger’s view. Let’s just let him develop for a season or two at Arsenal before putting him on an unrealistic pedastal.