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Friday, August 12, 2011

Wenger reflects on Oxlaide-Chamberlain capture

Arsenal have secured the services of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain from Championship side Southampton.

The 17-year-old has signed a long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £12 million plus any add-ons.

The winger played 44 times for the Saints, scoring 10 goals, and was influential in the club’s promotion from League One last season.

Oxlaide-Chamberlain follows in the footsteps of England international Theo Walcott, who also came through the ranks at St Mary’s to seal a deal with the Gunners.

He has also featured for England Under-18’s, 19’s and 21’s during his short career and joins with a glowing reputation and plenty of potential, which has delighted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"We are delighted that Alex has decided to join us,” he told the club’s official website.

"He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right.

"Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player."

Despite Wenger bringing Oxlaide-Chamberlain to the club, the Gunners are still fighting to keep hold of the wantaway pair of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Fabregas continues to be linked with a move back to boyhood club and European and Spanish champions Barcelona, with the Catalan giants likely to conclude a deal next week once they have had a bid accepted.

As for Nasri, football betting pundits note how the French midfielder could well stay in the Premier League with Manchester City still wanting to seal his signature. Nasri played a key role last term and would be a huge blow to Wenger’s plan for next season.

Another player heading for the exit is Nicklas Bendtner, who has been told he can leave the club.

The Denmark striker, who has endured a contrasting career with the Gunners, has asked for a move to Stoke.

Potters manager Tony Pulis is interested in a deal but Bendtner’s wage demands and transfer may be out of Stoke’s price range.

However, despite the likely departures, Wenger has attempted to sign a defender after having a bid rejected for Everton defender Phil Jagielka. Scott Dann, Gary Cahill and Ryan Shawcross have also been mentioned as the London club look to strengthen their defensive options, which have been criticised in the past.

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