By Joe Brewin

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits his first season at the Club was "a bit of a whirlwind" as he went from a relative unknown to starting England's opening match at Euro 2012.

The 19-year-old made his full Premier League debut against Manchester United in January, and went on to perform so well that he was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Season award and chosen for the national team.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to build on this exciting start to his Arsenal career, and his next target is to win a regular first-team place at Emirates Stadium. 

“It's been a whirlwind for me, as a lot of people have said, and it's really sunk in now when somebody reminded me that I've been here a year,” he told Arsenal Player. “Everything has gone really quickly, it seems like just yesterday [that I joined the Club].

“When I look back at what we've done as a team, and what I've achieved and learned, I can't believe the year it's been. I think it has been successful, I have learnt a lot. I know I have made mistakes but I have learnt from those as well.

“It's been a brilliant start to my Arsenal career, but it is only a tiny section of it and I hope to improve massively on what I have done to keep getting better and better if possible.”

After initially being eased into the first team, Oxlade-Chamberlain went on to feature regularly at the turn of the New Year and made 26 appearances. But what did he take from his experiences?

“I think the main thing has been maturity,” he said. “For a lot of the boys who have come through the academies, especially those at Arsenal and Southampton, you are built to have technical quality and you mould yourself as a player.

“I believe you get your main qualities when you are younger. But just coming to a club like Arsenal and training with the players I am training with makes you more mature as a player.

“I have always had confidence in my own ability but I have to keep my feet on the ground. I am quite a fast learner and I look at people and what they do. Then I put that into my own game, with my own spin on it.

“If I keep learning like that then hopefully I will keep progressing and improving as a player. I think maturity has been the main thing I have improved on and that has just come with the experience of being in and around a football club.”

Watch the full interview with Alex on Arsenal Player now.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
15 Aug 2012