Walcott: Oxelade-Chamberlain can play at Euro 2012

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is tipping Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain to make the England squad for Euro 2012

theo walcott
Walcott believes Oxelade-Chamberlain can shine on the international stage Photo: The Sport Review

theo walcott

Theo Walcott believes Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain can force his way into Fabio Capello’s England squad for Euro 2012.

Walcott has been left impressed by Oxelade-Chamberlain’s start to life at The Emirates, with the 18-year-old scoring twice for the Gunners since his move from Southampton in August.

Walcott, who also sealed a transfer from the Saints back in January 2006, believes Oxelade-Chamberlain will continue to seize his chance to shine on the international stage with Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 England side after he hit a hat-trick against Iceland in October.

“When you get the opportunities [as a teenager] you have to grab it with both hands and he has done that,” Walcott told Arsenal Player.

“He’s shown what he can do in the Carling Cup games and the Champions League. He’s got a good head, he wants to learn, and that’s very important. He’s very relaxed as well and that does him a big favour because he fits in well.”

Walcott himself was a surprise member of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England squad for the 2006 World Cup ahead of more experienced candidates such as Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe.

And the Gunners forward is convinced Oxelade-Chamberlain is good enough to follow in his footsteps and break into Capello’s squad for next summer’s tournament.

“Alex has definitely got the potential to be there [at Euro 2012],” said Walcott.

“I don’t think I deserved to go to the World Cup in 2006 but I hadn’t played any games in the Premier League while Alex has played in the Champions League. He knows he has a lot to learn but he is showing very good signs at this moment in time.”

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