Arsenal star in line for shock Euro 2012 international call-up
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set for senior England squad spot
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s impressive start to his Arsenal career looks set to earn him a senior England call-up at the age of just 18.
The midfielder, who signed for the Gunners from Southampton in August, scored a brilliant hat-trick for England Under-21s against Iceland last week.
And having also become the youngest English player ever to score in the Champions League last month against Olympiakos, England boss Fabio Capello is ready to call up the young Gunner for the clash with world and European champions Spain on November 12.
Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce admitted after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hat-trick had destroyed Iceland: “He is a real great talent.
“For anyone scoring a hat-trick on international duty it is obviously very pleasing. He gave us a real cutting edge, and is also a good team member and is really level-headed,” said Pearce whose Under-21 side top their European Championship qualifying group after also winning 2-1 in Norway on Monday night.
But it is the senior side’s Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer which may now interest Oxlade-Chamberlain, with England having sealed qualification with the 2-2 draw in Montenegro on Friday.
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The teenager has impressed everybody at the Emirates since his arrival, scoring on both his first full start in the Carling Cup win over Shrewsbury and within eight minutes of his Champions League debut.
Arsenal’s assistant manager Pat Rice admitted: “From Arsenal supporters’ point of view, they are going to be seeing a lot of this boy.
“Alex can go inside, he can go outside, he’s got that injection of pace and I think what he needs now is to be consistent in his play.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain himself said: “I am concentrating on the Under-21s at the moment.
“I am not with the seniors so I am focused on what I am doing with Stuart Pearce’s side right now.
“That [playing for the senior side] would be nice in the future but, as I said, I am focused on this.”