By Joe Brewin
Arsène Wenger will not rush Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into Premier League action.
The young winger has caught the eye since his summer move from Southampton, scoring on both his starts against Shrewsbury and Olympiacos.
But while some supporters may be itching to see the 18-year-old in league action soon, Wenger believes patience is required.
“He is ahead of schedule,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. “Overall I think he has to add some ingredients to his game that will be absolutely necessary at the top but he has the basic talent - nobody can dispute that.
“I am very happy for bringing him here. But of course now we want from him the commitment and the urgency that is requested in the Premier League.
“One second of lacking attention defensively can cost you a game. That has changed in the modern game and that is why he is ahead of schedule. I think in the next few months he can add that to his game.”
Comparisons have already been made between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. But Wenger played down the pair’s similarities ahead of the Carling Cup victory over Shrewsbury, noting that the former may eventually suit a central midfield position.
For now though Wenger wants him to master his wide role despite showing his goal-scoring credentials with last week's hat-trick for England Under-21s.
“Let's not be too quick,” he said. “I think he has a fantastic quality of crosses. He can cross it, chip it and personally I don't think he is ready at all yet to play in a central position in the Premier League.
“Let's get him there first on the flank and get him to adjust to this position.”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 14 Oct 2011