Five years at Arsenal: has Oxlade-Chamberlain been a success so far?

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain celebrates after scoring the second goal for Arsenal

The 22-year-old arrived at the Emirates in a £15 million deal just a week before his 18th birthday, but the ex-Southampton winger has had a stop-start career in North London so far.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (C) in actionArsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (C) in action

Five years ago, Arsene Wenger pushed the clock back as he raided Southampton for one of their most talented youngsters.

Paying £12 million up front, with a further £3 million dependent on performances, Arsenal signed 17-year-old Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, five and a half years after snapping up a 16-year-old Theo Walcott from the same club.

Both players lit up the St Mary's Stadium in their short lived careers with the club. The youngest player to represent the Saints, Walcott scored five goals in 21 Championship appearances before his January transfer to London.

And Southampton's second-youngest ever player, Oxlade Chamberlain, scored nine times in 34 games as the Saints achieved automatic promotion from League One, with the player being voted in the 2010/11 Team of the Year.

Though Walcott was forced to wait more than six months for his full Arsenal debut, the 'Ox' made a promising impression in his early Gunners career.

Despite making his debut in the 8-2 drubbing away at Manchester United in August 2011, appearing off the bench in place of Francis Coquelin, the following month was more positive for Chamberlain.

Scoring his first goal for the club with a 25-yard effort against Shrewsbury in the League Cup, he followed that up eight days later with a goal against Olympiacos and in doing so be became the youngest Englishman to score in the Champions League, a record that had been held by Walcott.

Later in the season, he opened his Premier League account with a brace against Blackburn Rovers in a 7-1 humiliation and continued to impress in the Champions League as he was rewarded with a place in Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2012.

Becoming the youngest ever player to represent England in the European Championships - the record had been held by Wayne Rooney - Chamberlain started the first game of the tournament in the 1-1 draw against France.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) celebrates after scoring their second goalArsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) celebrates after scoring their second goal

The 2012/13 season began well for Chamberlain, and in October he scored his first international goal in the 5-0 defeat of San Marino.

In December 2012, he committed his long term future to Arsenal as he signed new deals alongside fellow home-grown talents Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

He appeared in a career high 25 Premier League appearances that season, but on the opening day the following year he was stretchered off as he went on to miss three months out injured. However, his performances in the earlier part of the year were recognised as he was nominated for the 2013 European Gold Boy award, losing out to Paul Pogba.

Chamberlain recovered from the injury well as he played a major part in Arsenal's run to the FA Cup final scoring once in four games. And despite missing the final to a groin injury, he was selected for the England squad for 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

He looked to have put his injury woes behind him as he appeared in 37 games across all competitions in the 2014/15 season. With a goal in the North London derby, as well as further important strikes in the Champions League, Chamberlain was proving that he could be a big game player.

England's Ryan Mason and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain during trainingEngland's Ryan Mason and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain during training

However, his season was left in jeopardy once again as he was taken off with an injury as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup. And a year after missing the Wembley final, Chamberlain returned from injury as he appeared off the bench in the 4-0 defeat of Aston Villa.

Months later, he then scored the only goal as Arsenal beat Chelsea in the 2015 Charity Shield final. But yet again, his season was ended prematurely as his kneed buckled after a clash with Javier Mascherano in a Champions League tie against Barcelona.

That injury eventually cost Chamberlain, capped 24 times, his place at Euro 2016. However, after a pre-season in which he has featured regularly, the player now faces a crucial season in his development.

Speaking to the media after the 3-1 friendly defeat of Chivas, in which Chamberlain hit the net, Wenger heaped praise on the player he has so often backed to be a star.

As reported by the club's official website, he said: "It’s a very important season for him. He has been out for a long, long time. He has been injured and did not go to the European Championship, like he should have done if he had been fit. That’s why I’m cautious with him.

"I gave him 45 minutes [against MLS All-Stars], now 70 minutes. I hope I can get him through and fit for the start of the season. [He gives us] power, penetration. He has it all.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (L) is substituted for Ainsley Maitland Niles as Kit manager Vic Akers (R) looks onArsenal's Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (L) is substituted for Ainsley Maitland Niles as Kit manager Vic Akers (R) looks on

"It’s difficult what he doesn’t have - 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."

Both Wenger and the player himself will be hoping that the worst of the injuries are behind him, as he looks to establish his spot in the Arsenal XI.

With the Gunners blessed with a wealth of options in the attacking areas, Oxlade-Chamberlain must use this season to stake his claim.

And with Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott all capable replacements, another injury-ravaged campaign could yet see Chamberlain's Arsenal career fall by the wayside.

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