Arsène Wenger keen not to let Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain burn out

Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger wary of over-using Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this season, despite his impressive displays thus far

The Sport Review staff
By    
arsene wenger
Arsène Wenger's side are sixth in the Premier League table PA Photos

arsene wenger

Arsène Wenger has admitted his concern over the prospect of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain burning out – despite the teenager’s recent impressive performances.

The 18-year-old has been in sparkling form for the Gunners since the turn of the year, and netted twice as Arsenal thrashed Blackburn Rovers 7-1 at The Emirates on Saturday.

But the Arsenal boss says he will exercise caution over how often he chooses to play the forward this term, stressing that he is keen not to over-use him.

“That’s what happened to us last year with Jack Wilshere, it was exactly the same,” he said. “At the start of the season you think, ‘I will play him 20 games, maybe 25’. When they deliver a performance [like Saturday’s] they play 45 and then they play for the national team and then they get injured.

“It’s very difficult to manage because people understand very quickly what kind of influence the players have. You want to win the game so you play them.

“I don’t say I don’t want him to be rewarded with some praise when he has a good game. It’s about trying to find the right balance between having confidence and not being too early and too much under pressure.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain joins Theo Walcott as another former Southampton youth product at Arsenal – but Wenger does not believe comparisons can be drawn between the two players.

“Walcott went to the World Cup without having played in the Premier League at all, so it was a bit early because he was 17 years old. For a while I felt that the pressure on Walcott was after that because nobody had seen him,” he continued.

“He didn’t play at the World Cup and when he came back people said: ‘OK, he has been at the World Cup, now he has to deliver something special’. But you’ve seen now that Theo is developing very well.

“I don’t want to compare [the two players]. The only thing I would say is that Chamberlain already had a complete season in League One and he survived quite well.

“He was a few times injured on his ankle. He’s 18 years old, Theo came here at 16 and a half or 17, so he is a bit older as well.”

Get 4/1 enhanced odds on Man United to beat Zorya. Click here to sign up for an account now. T&Cs apply.

MORE: Get TREBLE the odds on any sports bet. T&Cs apply

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

MORE: Back to The Sport Review homepage

Slideshow
The Sport Review
12 young Arsenal players who fans should get excited about
Slideshow
The Sport Review
Neymar: 20 photos of Barcelona striker’s beautiful sister
The Sport Review
Top 30 highest-paid Premier League players: Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Real Madrid player wages 2016: Can you guess how much Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale earn?
The Sport Review
Top 26 Christian footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd players feature
The Sport Review
Barcelona player wages 2016: Can you guess how much Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez earn?
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
15 Chelsea January transfer targets: Di Maria, Hazard, Lukaku, Verratti and more
The Sport Review
Top 25 most stylish footballers: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Photo: Lucas Perez celebrates hat-trick with Arsenal duo on flight home
The Sport Review
IPTL 2016: Ana Ivanovic ends injury-marred 2016 with return to court in Singapore
The Sport Review
Jamie Redknapp tells Liverpool to make these two signings in January