Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a disappointing start to the campaign, but it is time to stand and deliver.
After scoring the only goal in the Community Shield, the winger has failed to impress on any of his appearances for the side.
Most recently, Oxlade-Chamberlain played poorly in the 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb but now, with Arsenal looking for a boost and travelling to White Hart Lane on Wednesday, would be the perfect time to deliver.
“It is a massive season for Alex,” Arsène Wenger said to Arsenal Player. “He is at the age now where he is getting picked regularly for the national team. He is picked by me as well for the team.
“It is a very important season because of the nature he is growing. You feel the evolution has a sense of responsibility.”
There’s definitely more of an onus on Oxlade-Chamberlain to perform now. He burst onto the scene after his expensive transfer in 2011 yet, despite having a huge amount of talent, hasn’t really kicked on.
Injuries have held him back, but the 22-year-old would be expected to be more consistent by now. A fantastic dribbler, he needs to add more end product to his game. With Alexis Sánchez, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck in the squad, as well as Aaron Ramsey being used in a wide role, the midfielder must start performing better if he wants to nail down a place in the side.
I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must believe more in himself,” Wenger admitted. “He must believe more in his talent and that will help him develop as a player. I think sometimes he is too critical of himself. I would like him to play with the freedom and express the desire of his talent.”
With rotation expected on Wednesday night, the midfielder will get the chance to do just that.
Hopefully he gives Wenger a selection headache and joins the list of players to have had a huge positive influence on the north London derby.