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Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sets sights on Premier League place

The 23-year-old winger scored a brace as the Gunners beat Reading 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

The goals took Oxlade-Chamberlain's tally for the season to five, already his best haul since he moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2011, having also scored in last week's Champions League thrashing of Ludogorets.

But the England international has struggled for game time in the Premier League and is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in the competition this season, having not started a league game since September 10.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in the opening weekend defeat to Liverpool but his last four goals have come when he has started in either the EFL Cup or the Champions League.

But, having recently admitted his unhappiness at the amount of minutes he is playing, the former Southampton youngster hopes he has caught the eye of manager Arsene Wenger with his recent displays.

Asked if his EFL Cup performances help his chances of starting in the league, Oxlade-Chamberlain replied: "I hope so. Any game that I play in is an opportunity for me to show what I can do.

"Whether it is the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup or the League Cup, it is all important. It is always good to get your confidence up and to try and play the way you want to play.

"For me any chance I get to play is an opportunity. Hopefully that form will carry into the league and be rewarded with more starts.

"Of course I want to play as many games as I can, especially in the Premier League. When I get an opportunity, whether it is the cup or the Champions League, I have just got to do what I can to help the team and try to knock on the door for a start in the league."

While Oxlade-Chamberlain strives for more Premier League outings, team-mate Carl Jenkinson is happy just to be back involved with the Arsenal first-team.

The right-back made his first appearance for the Gunners in 898 days when he started against Reading, after spending two loan spells at West Ham and having just recovered from a serious knee injury.

Jenkinson, 24, almost marked his return with an early goal having scored on his last Arsenal outing back in May 2014 and now the former Charlton man is striving to remain a part of Wenger's plans going forward.

"Arsenal is my club," he said.

"I went out on loan for a couple of years but always in my mind I thought I wanted to perform so I can come back here, I wanted to be good enough and I still want to be good enough to play here.

"I guess I was proving that I can play at this level, or trying to, while I was out on loan.

"I loved my time at West Ham, I played a lot of football, it was fantastic for me, a great club and I enjoyed every minute I had there but it is great for me to be back here now. Arsenal is my club and it is an honour every time I pull on the shirt."

Asked if he thinks he still has a role to play at Arsenal, Jenkinson replied: "I hope so. We will see won't we?

"I have just got to keep grafting away, stay fit and play as much as I can and when I get opportunities I have got to take them and who knows? So fingers crossed. Look, I have come back from a nine-month injury and am taking every step as it comes at the moment."

Jenkinson's dream return could have been even better had he taken an early chance which was well-saved by Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

The Oman international was in great form and made a number of crucial saves to keep the Royals in the contest.

"I think we showed good stuff during the 90 minutes," he told the club's official website.

"At those important moments during the game, you have to concentrate because small mistakes can cost you a lot - and that has happened. But we gave everything.

"We came here to enjoy the game and give everything. It's a cup game and the most important thing is the desire of the players - they showed themselves and what we can do this season."

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