Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes this England squad can 'build something special' under Gareth Southgate

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes England’s potential and age profile will allow them to finally establish an identity.

A long season comes to a close on Tuesday evening at the Stade de France, where Euro 2016 runners-up France are the opposition in a glamour friendly.

It is a chance for Gareth Southgate to try new things against one of the world’s best teams as the England manager looks to create a side capable of fighting for major honours.

The Three Lions boss is trying to tweak the culture around the squad and Oxlade-Chamberlain believes this group can flourish with the right direction.

“You heard (Southgate) say there ‘we need a clear identity on the way we want to go forward’,” he said.

“For me and all the squads that I’ve been in, this has been the one where we’ve really tried to focus on that and tried to get a real clear understanding of how we want to play and how we want to behave between each other on and off the pitch and really get that togetherness.

“I think we’ve really got a good opportunity with this squad, with it being so young with a few really good characters that are senior as well.

“We’ve got a really good chance to build something special from the moment moving forward, so for me that’s been the most positive step forward.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to open the scoring in Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Scotland, continuing the fine form he has shown with Arsenal in recent months.

The 23-year-old ended an otherwise frustrating campaign as an FA Cup winner, but would not be drawn on Arsene Wenger signing a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Oxlade-Chamberlain was more forthcoming when asked how Southgate and his manager at Arsenal compare.

“Obviously they’re different managers, Gareth’s a lot younger – that’s something that is the main, most obvious difference,” he said.

“But they’re both great managers and Gareth’s obviously really well connected, especially with the younger players.

“I guess that’s similar to Arsene as well.

“(Gareth) really likes to work with younger players and clearly – just like Arsene – gives the younger players a chance and gives them the platform to go on and hopefully do good things.

“They’ve got their differences for sure, but they’re similar in certain aspects as well.”



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