Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes that Arsenal are ‘close‘ to competing for the Premier League title and attributes this to squad depth.
Speaking to the Telegraph recently, the midfielder opened up about how much faith he has in this current team.
The Ox has been with us since 2011 and therefore, has seen his fair share of dark times, as well as numerous players leaving for greener pastures.
Now, the 21-year-old believes we’ve got a good squad and reckons we’ve currently got the strongest squad in a long time.
“We are definitely close,” he said. “We’ve been close at different points in the past few years but this year I’m really excited because I’ve got a lot of faith in this team. Winning the league is a long way off happening – it’s a long season, lots of things can happen – but I can’t sit here and say it’s not a target of ours. But you have to peel it back a long way before you can start thinking about winning it.”
He continued, “[The squad’s] the best. There are two men for every position, pretty much, and you’d struggle to pick between the two as to who should play. Everyone is on their toes.
Before adding, “I just think that the way we are working together combined with how many quality, talented players we have got then I would say it’s the strongest. Our best players are now staying and we are adding to them. It gives us the best chance.”
Wenger has spoken before about the importance of keeping the same squad together, which is why he was so keen to tie Walcott and Santi Cazorla down to new contracts. Not only do the players then grow used to each other’s playing style, but they form bonds and play for each other rather than just the club.
The Ox carried on, “There is so much talent. They are all very comfortable in this environment and we all just need to work together to make that something magic happen.”
He went on to speak about the British core we now have, which consists of himself, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers.
“I do think that with this squad now we’ve been together for a number of years and everyone has bought into it,” he said. “We’ve got a good British core but the lads who have come in from different countries really understand how much it means to this club to be successful.”
The midfielder also hailed the signing of Petr Cech from Chelsea as a huge boost for the squad, saying, “I’m sure he will make a significant difference this season – just to have someone as world-renowned as him in the squad with the experience, the winning mentality. It can help and can become contagious within the squad.”