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10 Things You Need To Know About Arsenal's Carling Cup Star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

by Jack Hyom
19 September 2011 17 Comments

He wowed Arsenal fans against Shrewsbury last night so here's everything you need to know about The Ox.

Arsenal fans have been crying out for their owners and boss Arsene Wenger to make a marquee signing and part with the cash that was wadded so tightly in their wallets – someone who will make the footballing world stand up and take notice as they hope to bring seven trophy-less seasons to an end. Today, they’ve been given an answer. Electrifying Ivory Coast international Gervinho has been joined by Southampton’s 17-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a fee that has blown Saints’ £12.5million sale of Theo Walcott “out of the water”, but is this the big money signing they had been hoping for? Here are ten things you need to know about Chamberlain and perhaps an indication that the Gunners need to keep spending.

1)      In his first full professional season on the South Coast, Chamberlain quickly leapt above want-away winger Jason Puncheon in the pecking order to cement a position in Southampton’s first team, and he hasn’t taken long to taste success. Ten goals and nine assists helped Saints secure promotion to the Championship after two seasons in the third tier of English football.

2)      Chamberlain’s first game for the club came at the tail end of the 2009/10 campaign, as he was used as a second half substitute during Southampton’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield. This made him the second youngest player to ever put on a Southampton shirt at 16 years and 199 days. Only new Arsenal team-mate and former Saints wonderkid Theo Walcott has beaten his record.

3)      Saints academy product Chamberlain was selected in the PFA League One team of the year for his performances, along with four other Southampton players, as the club won an impressive 13 games out of the last 15 to secure automatic promotion.

4)      Much like Walcott, who joined Arsenal after making his mark in his first full season with the South Coast club, his electrifying pace was a constant worry for opposing full backs. Much like Walcott, he scored a brilliant lob to attract further interest. This chip was one of two goals against Dagenham & Redbridge. Notice any similarities?

5)      Perhaps a bit less like Theo at the same age, he’s proven to have an end product on a number of occasions. There is still a lot to prove for Chamberlain, but he was finding a striker or finding the back of the net on quite a consistent basis and proved to be a mainstay in the side’s starting line up before a two-month injury lay-off in the run in. The pick of his ten strikes sealed the club’s promotion party as his curling effort capped off a 3-1 win over struggling Walsall. Chamberlain’s stocky in build but light-footed, skilful and can operate on either wing.

For Arsenal fans that are hoping for a ready-made superstar, Chamberlain has yet to test his abilities in the Championship, let alone the Premier League

6)      Even though he was a regular in Southampton’s starting line up before injury, they certainly coped without him. The teenage starlet was ruled out for nine games as Southampton continued their relentless promotion charge, and picked up 24 points in the process. Still recovering from a knock in pre-season this time round, Chamberlain wasn’t included in the squad that comprehensively defeated Leeds United in this weekend’s Championship opener. Even if Chamberlain had stayed, he wasn’t guaranteed a first team place every week and Southampton seem to have the depth and quality to cover for him in this division. Former De Graafschap winger Steve De Ridder has been brought in and the Saints’ fans concerns will certainly be eased with the club’s extremely strong financial position. And another 12-15 million pounds to bolster the squad is certainly a handy bonus.

7)      For Arsenal fans that are hoping for a ready-made superstar, Chamberlain has yet to test his abilities in the Championship, let alone the Premier League, and there is a distinct possibility that he will have to settle for reserve team football, loan spells and League Cup cameos for a few years before he is seriously knocking on the door of Arsenal’s first team. Yes he has undoubted talent, but so did Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale at that age, and their development was stalled as they didn’t get much of a look in until they were in their 20’s. Staying with Nigel Adkins’ Southampton side for another year could have given him a fantastic platform to progress as a player and show what he can do in a very tough division. It could prove to be a masterstroke, but the likelihood is that he won’t be competing with the likes of Andrei Arshavin and Samir Nasri for a couple of seasons yet.

8)      If there is reason to hope that he will be an England player in years to come, Trevor Brooking noted him down as a future senior international. He also earned a cap at Under-21 level under the guidance of Stuart Pearce and his father Mark is a former England player himself. If it runs in the family, then there certainly is a chance that the Gunners may have a bit of a gem on their hands.

9)      All the talk of an England future may have Arsenal fans excited for sure, but for the money spent on Chamberlain, the Gunners could have brought Chris Samba or Gary Cahill – two powerful centre backs who would make an instant impact in a team that is in desperate need of silverware. Pundits and former players alike have reiterated Arsenal’s need for a dominating centre back or a midfield powerhouse, but they will have to wait again to see if Arsene Wenger brings in proven Premier League or Champions League quality to bolster the ranks.

10)   Chamberlain’s YET ANOTHER talented youngster in a very large Arsenal squad. He isn’t guaranteed to make an impact in the first team and he will have the likes of Carlos Vela, Emmanuel Frimpong, Henri Lansbury, Craig Eastmond and Ryo Miyaichi to compete with before a first team place beckons. It would be brilliant to see Chamberlain become a star and take the Premier League by storm, but there it seems there is a long road ahead. Having said that, a certain 17-year-old called Theo Walcott was a surprise inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad, after barely making a senior appearance for Arsenal, so stranger things have happened. Right?

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

monday 11:39 am, 9-Aug-2011

we longing to see stars not a boy like him

tony c 12:05 pm, 9-Aug-2011

well done arsene another good signing .we just need a defender with experience now then we are ready . lets hope its soon arsene

Sambosa75 12:20 pm, 9-Aug-2011

Funny thing is on this occasion he wasn't even one of Saints most important players. Saints fans would probably list Lallana, Lambert, Cork, Fonte and Davis as more important. In actual fact, Arsenal have just paid £15m for a squad player at Southampton.

Bjorn 12:26 pm, 9-Aug-2011

Brilliant work Arsene, what's he like at defending corners?

Pooney 12:43 pm, 9-Aug-2011

15million to play in the reserves and carling cup for atleast a few years just what we need wenger when we haven't won a sausage in 7 years!!!! IN ARSENE WE RUST!!!!!!

Graham 1:53 pm, 9-Aug-2011

One of the bigger wanks of the summer market. As boring as this club is they're good for quite a laugh.

Stephen of some sort 1:57 pm, 9-Aug-2011

Pooney, seriosuly, get the fingers off the caps lock and stop using exclamation marks in the manner of a 15 year old hysterical child. A defender's coming, any idiot can see that, if United had signed him you's would all be moaning that 'we couldn't attract top young players anymore'. Quit with the histrionics and gain some perspective ffs...

mukaaya ashirafu 2:34 pm, 9-Aug-2011

Wenger now we're waiting for the super quality not quality so go and bring mata, samba and cahiil

Jesus_02 2:53 pm, 9-Aug-2011

I don’t think Arsenal could have afforded to wait 2 years and spent 25m on him. In two years time he is doing to be a bit bigger and a bit stronger and that combination together with his skills will frighten people. I heard Tottenham were after him but they couldn’t afford him. Apparently some of the public were so disappointed they decided collect some stuff for a carboot sale to raise money for Arry

abd 3:15 pm, 9-Aug-2011

hey wenger we need a cup so you have invest money to mata samba and cahill other you will go hell with your kids

Cretien 4:22 pm, 9-Aug-2011

"...but for the money spent on Chamberlain, the Gunners could have brought Chris Samba or Gary Cahill – two powerful centre backs who would make an instant impact in a team that is in desperate need of silverware." Firstly I've read that its £5 million rising to ten and on the same site (The Guardian) I read that it was £12 million so I'm not sure we'd get Samba or Cahill for that (Maybe Samba). Secondly do you really think the Wenger has stopped spending? Thirdly If you and the other naysayers really believe that Wenger is sitting in his office thinking "well everything is hunky dory now we've got Oxlade-Chamberlain" then you're not a very good sports journalist/pundit or whatever you supposed to be. Perhaps troll? The thing is that Jagielka whom we have bid for, is over priced at £12 million and Everton want £20. Cahill is worth about £8-10 million and in the last year of his contract so should be even cheaper but Bolton are asking for £15 to 20, which is far to much for such a player. Wenger is trying to address the defence (which by the way conceded the fewest goals from open play of premiership teams last season and yes I know we conceded a lot from set pieces) and I am confident that he will. Whether it be by buying some overpriced English defender or getting in a bargain from pretty much anywhere else in the world. Though I think that Arsenal fans and the rest of football should realise that money rules. The top four last year finished exactly in order of wage spend. We can buck the trend once or twice (pun intended) but in the long run it will be extremely difficult to compete with the financial clout of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea. I fully expect that financial fair play rules will only apply to the clubs that can't afford to take UEFA on in court or employ clever accounting to circumvent it.

Jack 4:47 pm, 9-Aug-2011

If you check Southampton's official website, you'll find it says that the Oxlade-Chamberlain fee blew the £12.5million sum Arsenal paid for Theo Walcott "out of the water", so that would suggest £15million or maybe even more. You could certainly sign Chris Samba, and maybe Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka at a push, for that money. I didn't say that Arsenal would stop there, in fact I suggested that Arsene should keep spending at the top of the piece as Chamberlain is not a player who will fit straight in and give Arsenal title winning quality. He hasn't even played in the Championship, let alone the Premier League. There's no doubting he is very talented, but so are a dozen other players at a similar sort of age in Arsenal's academy, reserves and first team. AOC has got a long, long way to go yet and there's still a lack of leadership and defensive power that critics and former players write home about every week.

Rebellious Jukebox 5:16 pm, 9-Aug-2011

11) His father is ex-England international and Stoke City player, Mark Chamberlain.

Cretien 7:51 pm, 9-Aug-2011

Theo Walcott joined Arsenal for £5 million rising too £12.5 million. I'd suggest that the Oxlade-Chamberlain deal is something along those lines perhaps with an extra couple of million tacked on to each end. Further you say we need to keep spending as if Wenger doesn't know this. That this signing is "instead" of what we (Arsenal) need. As it turns out this is a signing we need especially if we lose both Nasri and Fàbregas. Its also a signing which has been negotiated for a long time and has only been lately resolved. This was not a response to current concerns (although it now turns out to be) it is as you write, an investment for the future. One Wenger always intended to make. And as I said we will buy a defender, I just don't think its worth buying Jagielka, Cahill or Samba (Actually maybe Samba). We'd be likely to get better value, and frankly better players elsewhere.

Lee 8:43 am, 10-Aug-2011

17?! He looks like Julio Baptista's dad.

LoneWolf 9:51 am, 10-Aug-2011

I saw him play for Southampton against Manchester United last season and thought he was distinctly average, tidy but nothing more. Obviously one game is not the basis on which Arsenal will have scouted him but I'd suggest it's fairly easy for someone half decent to look good in League one and I can't see him breaking into the Arsenal first team any time soon. I'd heard before the game that Lallana was a better player but was injured at the time I think.

soji 4:56 pm, 21-Sep-2011

well ox is an exciting player who can be a great and complete player. but a word of caution to the english coach Capello. do not rush the young lad into the national team. allow him to settle into the game of football and be comfortable to play at the highest level. take a clue from Arsene.

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