By Rob Kelly
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says heading to the Far East on tour this week makes him appreciate the global reach of the Club.
The England international will be part of the squad that flies to Asia for matches, training sessions and events in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
And the 18-year-old is thoroughly looking forward to meeting Arsenal’s passionate supporters in the region.
“When I first came to Arsenal [the popularity of the Club] was one of the most surprising things for me,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.
“You have people from Malaysia, South Africa, America and Australia all supporting Arsenal and it makes you realise how big a club this is.
“It's amazing to think of fans on the other side of the world supporting the Club so much. It will be really nice to go out there and connect with them.
“I’ve heard about last year’s trip and I've been told the fans are so enthusiastic and really love the Club and the players. They give a lot to the Club and to the players, so it is nice to give something back to them.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has never been to the Far East, and while he is excited about the experience he insists there is a serious side to the tour.
“I hope to work on my fitness and gain more experience, and I am sure we will have a good time too,” he said.
“Obviously it is a good start to the season and hopefully I will do as well as I can out there and push on.”
Watch the full interview with Alex on Arsenal Player now.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Jul 2012