Arsene Wenger says that patience is needed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the youngster looks to fulfil his prodigious potential.
The Ox has started Arsenal’s last two games, and despite some flashes of danger, has looked a little off the pace. But after being away with England in the summer, and hampered by injury which has prevented him playing as regularly as we might like, the boss says that it’ll take a bit of time for him to find his form.
“Alex has not played a lot recently,” he said. “He lacks a bit of physical fitness. He tried at Villa and in patches he looked dangerous. He’s learning his trade and he’s a very talented young boy. I believe he will be a great player but at the moment he is learning his job.
“Basically, he’s 19 years old and there will be ups and downs, of course, but I believe he will be a great player. You need patience with every young player or you don’t bring them out.
“That’s why it’s so different in our job where you see the demands of people who want you to bring young players out but also they have no patience so it’s a bit of a contradiction.”
And the manager had some comforting words regarding Jack Wilshere who was rested for the Villa game because of a slight concern with his ankle.
“He had a little bit of inflammation of scar tissue (in the ankle) but it’s nothing. It’s very minor. The rest will help him get rid of it. Apart from that, he has done very well.
“He has not played for 17 months. People forget what that mean. Seventeen months in a career is massive, but I’m very happy with the way he is progressing.”