Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal boss Wenger urging Oxlade-Chamberlain to deliver on his potential

By Nick Purewal

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must add extra self-belief to reach his full potential in an "important" season with Arsenal, according to Arsene Wenger.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has finally made his playing comeback from the knee injury sustained in February that kept him out of Euro 2016, with Gunners boss Wenger optimistic about the 22-year-old's full recovery.

The England forward hit the net as Arsenal saw off Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1 on their pre-season USA tour, with Wenger then challenging the Ox to realise his promise in the coming campaign.

"This is a very important season for Alex," said Wenger. "He was out for a very long time, I'm cautious with him at the moment but he's getting better in every game and that's good to see."

Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a knee injury in Arsenal's 2-0 home Champions League loss to Barcelona on February 23.

The 24-cap England man has been accelerating his recovery across Arsenal's pre-season however, with Wenger now expecting a fruitful term ahead.

"Power and penetration, he has it all," said Wenger. "That's why I would like him to get to the level he can go to. Maybe he doesn't completely believe himself how good he can be and that's the final step for him."

Arsenal will conclude their pre-season schedule by facing Manchester City in Gothenburg on Sunday, before opening their Premier League campaign against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on August 14.

Wales star Aaron Ramsey and Chile's Alexis Sanchez are expected to feature against Pep Guardiola's side in Sweden, with both then in contention for the league opener.

- Former Watford and West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has emerged as the favourite to succeed Steve Bruce as boss of Hull before the season starts.

Bruce - the most successful manager in the club's history - left 10 days ago after four years at the KC Stadium following a breakdown in his relationship with the owners, the Allams.

Bruce's frustration grew as Hull failed to strengthen their squad after long-term injuries to Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and his son Alex. Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan is currently in caretaker charge.

Belfast Telegraph


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