Arsene Wenger plays down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England omission


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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should not be disheartened by his exclusion from the senior England squad for the friendly against Holland.

Caretaker-boss Stuart Pearce defended his decision to leave the livewire 18-year-old out of the game at Wembley, claiming Oxlade-Chamberlain would benefit from more competitive game time at a lower level, where England Under-21s take on Belgium at the Riverside next Wednesday.

Wenger signed the attack-minded midfielder from Southampton in a £10million deal last summer, and gradually integrated him into the first-team squad.

The Gunners boss believes time is very much on Oxlade-Chamberlain's side.

"I believe for any player he must play 100 games and then you talk about him," said Wenger.

"When a player has five or six games in the Premier League every time you have ups and downs.

"He learns his job at the moment. I am a strong believer in Oxlade-Chamberlain and I spent quite good money for him, but he needs time.

"You are not ready from one day to the next at the top, top level."