Southampton youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed his ambition to join one of the Premier League's top sides this summer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has quickly become one of the most highly-regarded youngsters in English football, following a string of impressive performances last term, as the Hampshire side sealed a return to the Championship by finishing second in League 1.
And the 17-year-old prodigy, who has consistently seen his name linked with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United over the past year, is keen to make the step up as soon as possible.
"I've heard Arsenal are in for me and to join a top-four club is what I hope for," Oxlade-Chamberlain said in The Sun. "When the bus comes along, you have to jump on it and make the most of your opportunities.
"It's not every day you get a chance like that. I believe in my own ability and that I have what it takes to play in the Premier League."
Oxlade-Chamberlain played 41 matches last season, scoring 11 goals and contributing nine assists.
The winger - son of former Stoke and Portsmouth star Mark Chamberlain - has confirmed he has already discussed his future with the Saints' boss Nigel Adkins.
"I've had a chat with the manager about my situation and expressed my feelings to him. I talked about how I wanted to be playing in the Premier League as quickly as possible and he has been really understanding.
"I've been at Southampton since I was seven and enjoyed every minute of it. They've brought me up in a really good way. The fans and the manager have been great and the club have made me what I am today.
"But I feel it's time for the next step. The way I see it, the Premier League is where I aspire to play."
Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest in a growing list of highly-regarded products of the Southampton Academy, with the likes of Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Spurs star Gareth Bale both making big money moves from the South Coast club to the Premier League in recent years.
And the Portsmouth-born starlet admits seeing their successes inspires him to test himself in a similar fashion.
"I guess seeing what has happened with Theo and Gareth inspires me," Oxlade-Chamberlain explained. "Although they didn't jump straight into the first team when they moved, they've pushed on to better things. So I take confidence from that.
"Obviously you are going to be a bit apprehensive going into the Premier League. But you have to take risks.
"If you step up and it doesn't work out, you have to hold your hands up. But if you believe in yourself and you're willing to work, which I am, there's endless amounts you can achieve."comments