Oxlade-Chamberlain: Winning respect key

Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says it is his relaxed attitude to life that has helped him settle in at Emirates Stadium so quickly, but that winning the respect and approval of the Gunners' big names has also proved pivotal.

The 18-year-old winger joined the Gunners from Southampton last summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £12 million, rising to £15 million.

And despite making just 38 league appearances for the Saints prior to his high-profile move to the Premier League, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made the transition seamlessly, scoring on his home debut against Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup before netting again on his Champions League bow in the 2-1 victory over Olympiakos.

"I don't let things faze me too much. It’s how you deal with obstacles that shapes you as a player and a person," he says in the February 2012 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now.

"One of the biggest I had to overcome was walking into a dressing room that had big names like Robin van Persie in it – players I’d watched on Match Of The Day – and now I’ve got to play and train with them. Winning their respect and approval was a big thing for me."

The son of of former England international Mark Chamberlain has followed a near-identical career path as fellow Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who made the same move to North London from Southampton in 2006 and has since gone on to make more than a century of league outings for the Gunners.

Although Oxlade-Chamberlain admits that he has already grown tired of the comparisons, he says he is indebted to Walcott for helping him adjust to his new surroundings.

"It gets on my nerves. I don't think I’ve done an interview yet where it hasn’t been mentioned because of our similar upbringings," he says. "He’s been a massive help, though. He knew what I was going through so took me under his wing. We get on really well. Having come through the same route, Theo inspires me."

Read the full interview with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, in which he talks more about his move to Emirates Stadium, and responds to claims that he could force his way into Fabio Capello's England squad for Euro 2012, in the February 2012 issue of FourFourTwo magazine.

It also asks 'What now? for Sir Alex Ferguson and features transsexual internationals, football's biggest con-man, the death of the tackle and a 23-page guide to the Africa Cup of Nations. Subscribe now!