Per Mertesacker has welcomed the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after 5 and half months out with injury.
The midfielder got 45 minutes under his belt for the U21s, and the BFG says he’s a player who can make an impact as Arsenal continue their push for the Premier League title.
“He can always make the difference with his speed, with his passing and obviously with his finishing,” he told Arsenal Player. “He can make a great impact for any team in the world so we are really pleased that he’s back.
“But I think he needs some time to get through training and to have some good games, but I’m really pleased for him that he got 45 minutes against Fulham. That is a step back to absolutely full fitness.”
Mertesacker’s call for some patience was backed by Oxlade-Chamberlain himself, who knows he’ll need some time to get properly fit, but he’s taking the positives out of what has been a difficult time.
“It takes a few weeks, maybe even a month, to get back to your full sharpness,” he said.
“It’s never easy having an injury, especially when it’s your first long-term one because you are not used to it and not sure how it will pan out. When I look back on it’s been a good learning curve, but at the same time it is somewhere you don’t want to be.
“I am just thankful that I got through it and I’ll look to push on from here.”