By Joe Brewin
Robin van Persie has hailed the impact of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this season - but believes people should not expect too much too soon.
The young forward caught the eye once more in Saturday’s 7-1 win over Blackburn, scoring his first Premier League goals in Arsenal colours.
Van Persie has been impressed with the 18-year-old’s contributions so far this season but insists the youngster should still be handled with care.
“He is a fantastic player already; he's only 18 and is so young,” said the Dutchman. “He's good on the ball - he has everything. He's quick, he has movement, technique, can score a goal or give an assist. He has a great future.
“But don't put too much pressure on him. You always have periods when you are young when you have really high highs and you go up and down until you balance it a bit better.
“He will have ups and he will have periods when he's not playing so well. So my advice is to be aware of it and be patient.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fine form has led to speculation about a possible spot in England’s Euro 2012 squad, after several impressive displays for Stuart Pearce’s Under-21s.
Van Persie, who should feature for Holland in this summer's tournament, believes the teenager's full international opportunity will come when the time is right.
“Why not?” he said. “In the future, definitely. He's a big prospect. Everyone is enjoying watching him. I do, you do and he brings something extra to the game and people just love it.
“It reminds me of my own period when I was breaking through and was 18 or 19. I believe when you have all these qualities it gives you confidence and you can enjoy yourself.
“He's not someone who thinks about negatives, just positives and you can enjoy the game like that.
“I had that as well when I was younger. I wasn't thinking about 'oh, big stadium, or big game'. I was just enjoying myself.”Copyright 2014 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 6 Feb 2012