Arsene Wenger has given some explanation as to why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has failed to cement a place in the starting line-up despite being at Arsenal for half a decade.
The 23-year-old moved to the Emirates stadium from Southampton back in the summer of 2011 after being tipped to be one of the hottest prospects in England.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to make 10 appearances in a row for Arsenal in his career with this season proving to be the first time he has sustained a string of regular displays.
According to Wenger, the main reason why the midfielder is still finding his feet in the first team after five years is because of his unlucky fitness record.
“I believe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career, like Theo Walcott’s career, has been stopped many times by injuries,” Wenger said on Monday.
“He had many, many setbacks. I think it’s the first season where he has the consistency of presence. [Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott] play in positions where the physical demands are maybe higher than in any other position.
“On the flanks today, you need to come up and down, you need to defend, you need to be dangerous going forward. So you need to find the level of a good balance and it demands a little bit of experience.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has registered a goal and an assist in Arsenal’s last two league games, was replaced by Alex Iwobi after 69 minutes of action on Saturday.