By Rob Kelly

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s experiences at Euro 2012 have helped him mature into an even better player, according to Arsène Wenger.

The 18-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the tournament, but started the opening game against France and came off the bench against Sweden and Ukraine.

Wenger believes it was an invaluable learning process for his protégé, and says Arsenal will reap the benefits this season.

“Last year Alex was still a young boy discovering the Premier League,” said Wenger. “This year he is still a young boy but I think, because of the European Championship, he has matured and improved football-wise.

“It is normal that you move forward quickly at this age and contribute more.

“The European Championship was very good for him confidence-wise, to have the experience with other English players from different clubs to see how they behave, how they prepare for big games, how they play under pressure. Overall, he is on the way up.”

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 24 Aug 2012