It’s been a tough season so far for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The England midfielder started on the opening day of the Premier League campaign after scoring the winner in the Community Shield, but started just one of Arsenal’s next eight Premier League fixtures.
Poor form and sporadic starts have led to a sorry sight, but an assist against Burnley in the FA Cup two weeks ago was his first of the season and swiftly followed by his first Premier League goal since September 2014 in the 2-0 win against Bournemouth. Is he ‘back’?
“He got an assist, then he scored and that sometimes opens a light,” Arsène Wenger said as he previewed Sunday’s game against Leicester City. “I’m convinced that in every career, you have moments where you think ‘I can do that’ and transform your potential into reality.
“I’m convinced that that will give him appetite to score more, to give more assists and to go more in the final third, where he can be deadly.”
At just 22, Oxlade-Chamberlain has a very long time left to develop further and improve. However, the goal at Dean Court was his first ever away goal for Arsenal, and he’s never managed to score more than four in an entire campaign in all competitions. That came in his first Arsenal season, 2011-12, when he was still a teenager.
14 goals in 146 Arsenal appearances across over four and a half seasons just isn’t enough, but Wenger thinks it’ll come.
“You cannot imagine when you look at Alex that he will not score goals. He has power, pace, technique, finishing.
“I believe that only he maybe did not believe enough that he can score. That will convince him and hopefully it’s the start of many more.”