Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hopeful of making England squad for World Cup

Last Updated: 30/01/14 11:53am

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Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain insists he has not given up hope of making England's World Cup squad.

The 20-year-old is closing in on a return to action after being sidelined since the opening day of the season with a knee injury.

His comeback is a major boost to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger following the news that Theo Walcott will be out for the remainder of the campaign with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has scored three goals in 13 appearances for his country, has been pencilled in to play against Fulham U21s on Thursday as the next part of his rehabilitation programme.

A return to first-team action could follow against Aston Villa next Monday and the £12m recruit from Southampton is hopeful that will be the first step on a road to full fitness which will culminate in a place on the plane to Brazil.

"As a young guy growing up watching football and watching World Cups, this

will be my first one," he told Arsenal Player.

"Obviously I went to the Euros in 2012 which was an amazing experience - and that's a massive achievement for me personally, especially as an 18-year-old boy. That was really special.

"But the World Cup is always that little bit more special because it is the world stage. If I was able to be selected and go to Brazil it would be a dream come true and something that I am definitely striving towards.

"Although for now I am just focused on getting back in and around the Arsenal team and helping us do well this season."

To see if Oxlade-Chamberlain makes his Arsenal return at Villa Park next Monday, check out the action live on Sky Sports 1 from 7.00pm

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