By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will add defensive qualities to his game in the near future.

The 18-year-old was outstanding in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, causing Manchester City plenty of problems with his pace, direct running and eye for goal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain recently acknowledged that he has room for improvement, especially when Arsenal do not have the ball, but Wenger expects the teenager to emulate the likes of Theo Walcott and raise his game in all areas.

“Defending is not his preferred side but unfortunately at the top level today you have Messi doing it, Rooney, Ronaldo, Van Persie - so why should he not do it?” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“There is no other way to succeed anymore. That's why, of course, I believe he has the quality to do it. He has the physical ability and he is not scared to go into challenges. He can take a challenge.

“To add that to his game will make him stronger because he will win some balls in areas where he can be dangerous. He's a player who has an impact.

“If you look at the whole picture when you think him, Frimpong, Coquelin, Ramsey and Wilshere just in midfield - we have absolutely exceptional talent and it's very important that we continue to develop them very well.”

The full interview with Wenger is now available on Arsenal Player.

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2 Dec 2011