Arsene Wenger says he wants Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay at the club as the 23 year old heads towards the final year of his contract.
The midfielder has made some real progress this season, scoring 6 goals and making 5 assists from his 21 appearances, and looks like he’s starting to realise all that potential.
Weekend reports suggested that no contract talks had taken place but Wenger, while refusing to confirm or deny that, insisted he wanted to keep the player.
“I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay. I brought him here at a young age, I think he’s developing well.
“This season he is making steps, he’s moving forward, and when you invest so much time and work in a player, I think the player loves it here, he’s integrated with the qualities we want him to have … overall I want him to stay.”
When asked what he thought had been behind the upturn in form and performance level, Wenger said staying fit and available has been a key consideration.
“I believe that first, his career, like Theo Walcott’s, has been stopped many times by injuries. He had many, many setbacks.
“I think its the first season where we have a consistency of presence. They play in positions where the physical demands are higher than any other.
“On the flanks today you need to come up and down, you need to defend, you need to be dangerous going forward. It demands a bit of experience also.
“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a lot more efficient going forward now, he can provide – he gave a great ball for Ozil on Saturday – and he can score himself.
“That’s what we want from him.”