Fabio Capello has long been accused of sticking too rigidly with England’s so-called ‘golden generation’ – but all that looks set to change if the latest rumours are to be believed.
According to the Guardian, the England boss is seriously considering taking Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the European Championships this summer.
The 18-year-old impressed on his first Premier League start against Manchester United at the weekend and set-up Robin van Persie’s second-half equaliser.
The Gunners eventually went on to lose the game and things soured somewhat as the Emirates support jeered when Arsene Wenger replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain with Andrey Arshavin.
However, that was indicative of the impact the teenager – who signed from Southampton for £12million in the summer – had on the game and Capello has also received encouraging reports from England U21 coach Stuart Pearce.
He is now set to give the player a chance to prove himself on the international stage in some friendlies ahead of the summer campaign.
There are echoes of the inclusion of Theo Walcott in the 2006 England World Cup squad – a move which many argue has hindered Walcott and placed huge expectations on the forward.
Oxlade-Chamberlain at least has some Premier League football under his belt though and may be worth a go at the European Championships – especially as England’s current crop of wingers are hardly setting the Premier League alight.
Walcott and Stewart Downing have been poor, while Ashley Young and Adam Johnson have struggled for game time through injury and lack of selection. An injection of something new may help England’s cause this summer.
England are currently fourth favourites to win their first major competition since 1966 and can be backed at 9/1 to claim the Euro 2012 crown.