Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says that playing other sports when he was younger helped him become a more complete footballer.

The England midfielder was a talented rugby union player during his schooldays and was even offered a trial at London Irish before he chose to focus on football.

Oxlade-Chamberlain also excelled at cricket while he was growing up and he believes that playing different sports in his childhood has helped him improve his athleticism and attitude.

“I guess you can take stuff from any different sports you play, especially team ones like cricket and rugby,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast.

“In rugby and cricket it’s very big on respect for the game, your team-mates and the opposition. You can always take that into football. There’s definitely no talking back to the referee in rugby so there’s definitely things you can learn.

“Just playing in any team sport, getting that winning feeling and working with your other team-mates is useful experience for football.

“I don’t like to admit to it but I’m definitely the kind of person [who is an all-rounder]. If you ask Kieran Gibbs that question then he’ll say that I’m always good at all the sports that we do in our spare time.

“Table tennis or tennis, when I was younger I used to play everything and I think I was just quite naturally good at sport in general so I picked everything up quite quickly.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain scores against Bournemouth
Oxlade-Chamberlain scores against Bournemouth

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Max Jones 9 Feb 2016