Theo Walcott is confident that England and Arsenal teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will return to the Gunners squad for the pre-season much stronger than before after taking part in this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was a shock inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for Poland and Ukraine but the 18-year old didn’t stop there; he also earned his first start against the in-form France last Monday.
Having then come off the bench to help secure England’s 3-2 win over Sweden on Friday, the youngster is quickly becoming a fan favorite for his endurance and Theo has been taking note of his rapid progress.
“Alex has four caps now, and it’s great for his confidence and it will be great for Arsenal when we come back and play together – perfect!” Walcott stated about Chamberlain’s growth as an international.
While Oxlade-Chamberlain’s late appearance against the Swedes was not surprising, Walcott’s entry off the bench was somewhat surprising given that he did not feature at all against the French.
However, just like the Ox, he also grabbed his opportunity to shine with both hands and struck a brilliant equalizer to help England come from 2-1 down to re-assert themselves on the match.
“I just thought ‘wow’! At first I thought it took a deflection to be honest, but I watched it back and it didn’t,” Walcott reminisced about the famous goal.
He added: “It’s been a long time coming since my last goal for England – it was at a crucial time of the game as well and I think it shocked them.
“We showed what class we’ve got and we got the three points, which was massive for us,” he concluded.