Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain thinks he faces a stiff test forcing his way back into Arsenal’s starting line-up after a lengthy spell on the sidelines but believes competition for places will bring the best out of him.
Aware that regular starts at the Emirates are on the line given the form of his teammates, the 20-year-old – who hasn’t played any football since sustaining a knee injury against Aston Villa on the first day of the Premier League season – admitted that he has his work cut out.
“Things can change quickly in football,” he told The Sun. “When you’re at a great club like Arsenal, which has the strength in depth it has, you know you’ve got to raise your levels to stand a chance of playing.
“If you look at us now, if everyone was fit we’d have an unbelievably strong squad and it will be a huge challenge to get back in the team.
“But I’m confident in my ability so, when I get the chance, I will have to take it.”
With a World Cup on the horizon and flavour-of-the-month Andros Townsend already tipped to single-handedly end England’s 48-year trophy drought, Chamberlain also recognised that he’s not a certainty to travel to Brazil despite his excellent strike in the Maracana last summer.
“Townsend has made it hard for every other attacking player in that position to get in, not just me,” he continued.
“Competition has gone up again but you can’t feel frustrated. If you think like that, you start losing focus.
“I know what I need to be doing to be in the squad and it’s the same at Arsenal.”
Chamberlain took to Twitter this morning to confirm he’s working hard in rehab but as Arsene Wenger revealed ahead of the Norwich game he’s still not expected to be back until mid-December.
After a difficult season last time around he’s certainly got much to prove. Fingers crossed he plays a big role helping the side in the New Year, a time when traditionally our players start dropping like flies.