Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe World’s next Superstar: Southampton’s Best Protégé yet? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The World’s next Superstar: Southampton’s Best Protégé yet? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The World’s next Superstar: Southampton’s Best Protégé yet?

He spent almost 11 years developing his talents on the south coast before a club record £15million deal saw him switch Southampton for the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal.

Becoming the Saints’ second ever youngest player, after current team mate and former Saint Theo Walcott, Chamberlain appeared as a substitute twice in the 2009-2010 season, when he was just 16 years and 199 days old. He then rose to prominence within the Southampton first team during the 2010-2011 season, becoming a regular and helping them gain promotion to the Championship from League One.

Scoring on his first competitive start against Bournemouth in the Carling Cup, his talents were showcased to the nation for the first time.

He left the Saints during the 2011 summer transfer window and his August move has seen him appear three times for the Gunners, scoring in two of those games.

His first appearance was during a disappointing 8-2 defeat at Manchester United, however putting that behind him he has gone from strength to strength.

A rise to fame at Arsenal has rewarded him with four appearances for the England under 21 side, where he made two assists against Azerbaijan during his first start for the team. A substitute appearance versus Israel then saw him claim an impressive three assists, while also winning a penalty as England turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 triumph.

This in turn earned him a starting berth against Iceland, where the under 21’s ran out 3-0 winners in Reykjavik. Chamberlain scored all three goals.

Some may say he moved too early from St Mary’s, yet his form so far is proving any of his doubters wrong.

Would it be foolish to now target a place within the England first team squad for the Euro 2012 Championships? Theo Walcott became England’s youngest ever senior player in 2006 and was selected for that year’s World Cup (despite not playing), so what’s to stop him from securing a place on that plane? In my opinion Oxlade-Chamberlain is more talented than Walcott was at the same age, yet also possesses more potential.

The Saints Academy is among the top in the country having produced players including Alan Shearer, Matthew Le Tissier, Chris Baird, Leon Best, Wayne Bridge and more recently Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, to name a few.

Now, Chamberlain has joined that list and in September 2011 he became the youngest Englishmen to score in the Champions league. Like Walcott, Bale, Bridge and Shearer, he is among the academy products who have gone on to both feature and score in that competition.

After being introduced on the European stage, Chamberlain has the chance to develop and impress even further as he looks to fulfil his evident ability.

With Gareth Bale setting the Champions League alight last season with Tottenham, he was quickly rumoured with a transfer to the then European Champions Inter Milan, who he fired a hat trick past in a thrilling 4-3 defeat.

And there is nothing to stop Alex from emulating the Spurs star; the young winger has performed impressively very early on in his Arsenal and England U21 career, something which former Saints Bale and Walcott failed to do after their big moves.

Time will tell whether Chamberlain made the right decision to ply his trade in the Premier League and develop himself at Arsenal; however the early signs suggest he was spot on, as he aims to become the world’s latest superstar.

Harry Hunt @HarryHunt92



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