Oxlade-Chamberlain happy to commit
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to commit his future to Arsenal after admitting he is "loving" life at Emirates Stadium.
After yet another summer when a star name has left the Gunners in pursuit of major honours, the 19-year-old is preparing to buck the trend.
Oxlade-Chamberlain made a massive impression last term when his handful of first-team appearances proved enough to get him a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012.
And whilst speculation that he is on the verge of extending his Arsenal contract met with a non-committal response, the teenager made it clear he is not entertaining thoughts of joining the exodus.
"I am here to play for England this week," he said. "That is the only thing I am concentrating on.
"But if Arsenal want to sit down and talk about that, it is really good because I am loving my time there.
"I really enjoy playing for them and am planning on being there for a while."
After successive goalless draws, Arsenal sprung into life on Sunday with a superb win at Liverpool.
With Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both opening their accounts for the season, Arsene Wenger's men suddenly appear plausible challengers despite Robin van Persie's departure.
And Oxlade-Chamberlain believes that will have a positive spin-off on his pursuit of an England place.
"Confidence is a massive thing in the game," he said.
"If the new signings bring that to the team, it can only help the rest of the boys.
"Also, it adds to the competition for places, which raises the level for everyone.
"If you bring that to internationals as well it can only be a good thing."
Oxlade-Chamberlain did enough in his three appearances at Euro 2012 to persuade Roy Hodgson to call him up for the start of England's World Cup qualifying campaign later this week.
Whether he gets a start in Moldova on Friday or Ukraine at Wembley four days later is another matter as Hodgson ponders a tactical reshuffle following the loss of Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll due to injury.
In his first qualification game, Hodgson cannot afford to get it wrong.
And whilst the prize of a trip to Brazil is a huge one, Oxlade-Chamberlain agrees with his manager's theory that England need to treat a trip to Chisinau exactly as they would an encounter with the five-times World Cup winners.
"Of course he is right," he said.
"We approach every game in the same way, whether it is Brazil or Moldova.
"We know we have to go out and look to win the game."
It is a measure of the speed with which Oxlade-Chamberlain has burst onto the scene that whilst he has a trio of international tournament appearances in his locker, it will be his first qualifying game.
He accepts that brings different conditions, and a different level of expectancy.
"This is the international stage now," he said.
"It is never going to be easy. No matter who we come up against they will possess different qualities and attributes.
"But the idea is to get the qualifying wrapped up as soon as we can. And the aim is to win every game."
Experience may eventually steer Oxlade-Chamberlain away from such bold talk.
For now, though, he is embracing every aspect of his career.
And that includes welcoming what many outsiders would view as an unusual Hodgson trait of encouraging Oxlade-Chamberlain to express himself on the field rather than remain within the confines of an overall team pattern.
"To have a coach who lets you express yourself and do your thing in the right area of the pitch is massive," he said.
"Not only that, he is a really good man off the pitch.
"You can sit down and have a chat with him about anything, including holidays if you wish.
"When you can build up a relationship like that with the manager, in my past experience it helps massively."
Related Arsenal News