Arsene Wenger is keen to get Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fit for the start of Arsenal’s Premier League campaign because “he has it all”.
Oxlade-Chamberlain initially suffered knee ligament damage in the Champions League clash with Barcelona in February, but a further injury in May ruled him out of England’s Euro 2016 campaign.
The 22-year-old scored his second goal of pre-season in Sunday’s 3-1 friendly victory over Guadalajara with a sublime solo effort and the Arsenal boss is eager to have him ready for competitive action when they face Liverpool in the top-flight opener on August 14.
“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,” said Wenger.
“That’s why I’m cautious with him. I gave him 45 minutes [against MLS All-Stars], now 70 minutes [against Guadalajara]. I hope I can get him through and fit for the start of the season.
“[He gives us] power, penetration. He has it all, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’s difficult [to say] 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.”
Granit Xhaka has been Arsenal’s only big-name signing of the close-season, but the club have been linked to the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Riyad Mahrez and Alexandre Lacazette.
Wenger, however, would not be drawn on whether any new additions were imminent.
“We have not closed any deal with anybody at the moment,” he said.
“You speak about Mustafi. Is it Mustafi or anybody else – we haven’t concluded anything at the moment.
“I can understand that you are interested in transfers but I’m not ready to come out on any name.”