Arsenal's new teenage star

Arsenal fans have a new hero. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost outshone Robin Van Persie in the 7-1 demolition of Blackburn Rovers, and the teenage forward has already established himself as a favourite at the Emirates.

Oxlade-Chamberlain demonstrated his speed and imagination, as well as his composure with two assured goals. He has already started 10 games for Arsenal this season and, on present form, will be difficult to dislodge from the starting 11.

There is already speculation that Oxlade-Chamberlain will feature in Fabio Capello’s Euro 2012 England squad. With England lacking the kind of attacking verve and speed that Oxlade-Chamberlain possesses, Capello may even feel like giving him a try in the friendly match against Holland.

"Would you be surprised?" Arsene Wenger replied when questioned about a possible England call-up for the player. "In a very short time he has been an important player who can make a difference. He made a big step in that he contributes in the team play. He is a fighter as well. He has improved so much."

The result was indicative of Arsenal’s unpredictable season. The goals almost cancelled out the eight they conceded against Manchester United earlier in the season, and they remain in the chase for a Champions League qualifying place.

Wenger may also appreciate that, in Oxlade-Chamberlain, he has a secret weapon to take into this season’s Champions League knockout stages. The young forward may come to remember 2012 as the year he made his breakthrough on the European stage, with club and country.

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