Adkins: Oxlade-Chamberlain should stay put

Topics

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should ignore rumours of a move to one of the Premier League's top sides and focus on continuing his development at Southampton, according to the Hampshire side's manager, Nigel Adkins.

The prodigious winger is one of the most highly-regarded youngsters in English football, after a string of explosive performances last term helped Saints seal a return to the Championship by finishing second in League 1.

Speaking earlier this week, the 17-year-old suggested he was looking to move on this summer, telling The Sun: "I feel it's time for the next step. The way I see it, the Premier League is where I aspire to play."

The Southampton starlet has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, but Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all also said to be keen on the Portsmouth-born wide-man.

But his manager believes the youngster's best bet will be to stay at St Mary's and continue his footballing education on the south coast.

"Obviously in the last couple of days there have been a few comments that have come out nationally," Adkins told Sky Sports.

"The expectation for a 17-year-old boy and his parents to be linked with big football clubs obviously will play on people's minds, but I think he's handled himself ever so well, and he's loved at Southampton.

"We believe it's better for him to stay at Southampton and play his football and keep developing.

"We've got to try to make sure we look after a young boy who's handled himself ever so well but has been placed in a situation with speculation. It's speculation with big football clubs people always dream about."

Oxlade-Chamberlain played 41 matches last season, scoring 11 goals and contributing nine assists.