Wenger: Arsenal have signed an ‘exciting’ talent in Oxlade-Chamberlain

Gunners boss delighted after capturing winger

Arsenal have won the race to sign Southampton starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who became the Gunners’ third signing of the summer on Monday.

The 17-year-old had been coveted by Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, but has chosen to come to the Emirates because he believes it will give him a better chance of first-team football.

Southampton’s official website stated that Oxlade-Chamberlain had joined Arsenal for a club record fee, which is believed to be �12m.

He follows in the footsteps of another former Southampton player, Theo Walcott, who made the same switch in January 2006, and the deal for Oxlade-Chamberlain looks to be very similar.

Arsenal will pay �7m up front, with a further �5m due in add-ons based on appearances and success for the midfielder.

Arsene Wenger said of his new signing: “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right.

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“Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”

“He has done extremely well during his development with Southampton and we are looking forward to him progressing even further and fulfilling his huge potential with Arsenal Football Club.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who turns 18 on August 15, said: “I’m so excited to be joining Arsenal. It’s a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing football at the highest level.

“Arsenal have a great manager in Arsene Wenger, top quality players and an attractive style of play. These were all important factors in me choosing to sign for Arsenal.

“I’m proud to be joining Arsenal, but I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Southampton for their help and support during the early part of my career, for which I will always be grateful.”

“I’m now looking forward to meeting all my new team-mates and giving absolutely everything in an Arsenal shirt.”

The player is the son of the former England, Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Mark Chamberlain and has scored 10 goals in 36 games for the Saints, helping them win promotion back to the Championship last season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been at Southampton’s academy since the age of seven, and has represented England at all youth levels, winning his first Under-21 cap earlier this year.

He will go straight into the Gunners’ first-team squad ahead of this weekend’s Premier League kick-off.