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Ox looking to kick on after 'difficult' season

ARSENAL midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has called for everyone to be patient as he looks to "kick on" again next season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has certainly come a long way in a short time since being signed from Southampton two years ago as a raw talent by Arsene Wenger, whose own future has been called into doubt following links with a switch to big-spending Paris St-Germain.

However, after being called into the senior England squad for the 2012 European Championships, where he started the opening game against France, the 19-year-old attack-minded midfielder has been used as an impact player for the Gunners, with only 11 starts in the Premier League.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, though, feels time is very much on his side.

"It has been difficult," he said. "There is always pressure, but maybe people forget I am only 19 and will still be 19 at the start of next season.

"When you have a good first season, especially at 18, people hype you up and really want to see you kick on.

"They expect you to play lots of games and do really well. I have tried to carry on from last season, but sometimes you have to realise that you are a young lad and have a lot to learn."


Oxlade-Chamberlain has made the difference with his dynamic play when introduced off the bench, notably when turning the game against Norwich at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago when the team were losing 1-0 going into the final five minutes.

The teenager feels having players who can make a difference on the bench can aid Arsenal's quest for Champions League qualification.

"You always want to start but your responsibility when you are on the bench, especially as a winger, is to come on, change the game and help drive the boys forward. That is what I have been trying to do, to make things happen." he said.

Wenger, 63, has another season to run on his current deal and it is understood Arsenal will look to formalise negotiations over an extension once the campaign is over.