Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says he’s taking heart from the way Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere bounced back from long spells on the sidelines as he gears up for a first team return of his own following four months out with a knee injury.
The England midfielder hobbled off before half-time in the first game of the season against Aston Villa but is hoping to return early in the New Year as he looks to help the Gunners to silverware and himself to a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, the Ox spoke warmly of Ramsey’s inspirational form while also praising Wilshere’s patience and dedication.
“You can either let setbacks be a setback or let them be a temporary setback as part of a learning curve to go on and turn it into something positive. I think Aaron has done that amazingly well. To have a bad injury like he had at a young age, I can only imagine is really tough mentally to come back.
“People sometimes don’t realise if you get an injury like that, doing something you do on a day-to-day basis and sometimes you can’t put your finger on why it happened, to come back from that and put yourself under threat of doing that same horrific injury that brings back those bad memories again, that can be really challenging mentally.
“I think the way that Aaron has come back from that injury and a time like that to show what he is doing this season and even in the seasons before, ever since I have been here, he has been a brilliant player and I can say the same about Jack [Wilshere] with his injury as well.
“The amount of time he was out and to come back and see how positive he is now and how hard he is still working to make sure he tries to prevent injuries like that again, is a real learning curve for any player.
“For me, now I find myself in the same situation they found themselves in, hopefully on a shorter length of injury, it does give you hope. You can take a lot of positivity from that and confidence that you can come back stronger.”
There were a few mumbles last season from fans that Chamberlain wasn’t delivering on his potential but it’s easy to forget he’s still only 20-years-old. Dealing with the hype is part and parcel of being a young homegrown talent and it’s natural for inconsistency to creep in.
That being said when he returns to the first team in January he’ll do so somewhat under the radar, indeed, with eyes on other players hopefully he’ll find a new freedom to express himself on the ball.