Arsene Wenger hopes that Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s goal against Bournemouth will give the midfielder the confidence he needs to become a consistently dangerous presence in the final third.
The 22-year-old’s clinical low drive doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 2-0 win at Dean Court and came a week after his smart run and cross had helped Alexis Sanchez score against Burnley in the FA Cup.
Hoping Chamberlain has reached a tipping point in his career, the boss reflected on the England international’s increasingly effective performances.
“He got an assist, then he scored and that sometimes opens a light,” the manager told Arsenal.com.
“I’m convinced that that will give him appetite to score more, to give more assists and to go more in the final third, where he can be deadly.
“You cannot imagine when you look at Alex that he will not score goals. He has power, pace, technique, finishing.
“I believe that only he maybe did not believe enough that he can score. That will convince him and hopefully it’s the start of many more.”
An outgoing and confident presence off the pitch, it’s remarkable – and somewhat concerning – that Chamberlain often fails to keep his emotions in check when things aren’t quite going his way during games. More often than not, when he misplaces a passes or fails to connect properly with a shot, he berates himself.
As the boss says, his talent isn’t in question, it appears he just needs to conquer the mental side of his game to fully flourish.