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Ox - New boys are up for it

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says his new Arsenal team-mates already understand how important the north London derby is - especially Alexis Sanchez.

The Gunners welcomed five new recruits over the summer and the England international insists they are all fired up ahead of Saturday's encounter with Tottenham.

Alexis has played in El Clasico for Barcelona and Oxlade-Chamberlain revealed the Chilean is chomping at the bit to be involved in another of the biggest derbies in world football.

"When I was injured and watching it, it was nerve-wracking, but when you’re in the heat and on the pitch you don’t really have a chance to think about it"

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

“Alexis and Jack played 90 minutes the other day and they're usually on second-day recovery,” he told Arsenal Player. “But today Alexis really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy.

“That just sums up how much everyone wants to be around the squad and training, and I think he knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend and, as a new boy, it’s good that he does know that.

“Obviously everyone else that’s been here and been involved in a north London derby knows how big it is, so that just proves the intensity goes up in training and everyone just wants to be around and pushing for a start.”

One player who does understand it is lifelong Arsenal fan Carl Jenkinson, who is on loan at West Ham United but has been in constant contact with Oxlade-Chamberlain in the build-up to Saturday’s clash.

“He’s Arsenal’s No 1 fan and he’s always asking me what the boys are doing,” the midfielder said. “Jenko always loves playing against Spurs.

“He was saying to me the other day, ‘I don’t usually get too nervous playing for Arsenal but when it came to Spurs I was so nervous’, and that’s because he knew how much it meant to the club, the supporters and himself.

“When I was injured and watching it, it was nerve-wracking, but when you’re in the heat and on the pitch you don’t really have a chance to think about it. But then, come the final whistle, the three points does taste that little bit sweeter when it’s winning against Spurs.”

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