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'Why the Ox has improved this season'

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsene Wenger has hailed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s progress this season - and puts it down to the simple fact that he has stayed fit and proved his quality.

The England international has scored six times and claimed six assists - including a brilliant pass for Mesut Ozil against Stoke - and the manager is pleased with the strides forward he is making.

“I believe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career, like Theo Walcott’s career, has been stopped many times by injuries,” Wenger said. “He had many, many setbacks. I think it’s the first season where he has the consistency of presence.

“[Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott] play in positions where the physical demands are maybe higher than in any other position. On the flanks today, you need to come up and down, you need to defend, you need to be dangerous going forward. So you need to find the level of a good balance and it demands a little bit of experience.

“Alex is much more efficient going forward now. He can provide - he provided a good final ball for Ozil on Saturday, and he can score goals himself. That’s what you want from him.

“I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay at the club,” he added. “I bought him at a very young age and I think he is developing well.

“This season he is making steps, he is moving forward and overall when you invest so much time and work and the player has as well [you want him to stay]. I think the player loves it here. He is integrated with the qualities we want him to have and overall I want him to stay.”

 

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