Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants England 2014 World Cup place

• The winger returns to training with Brazil in his sights
• Rehabilitation programme on track after knee injury

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has targeted a dream ending to the season by earning a place in England's World Cup squad for Brazil after returning to training following five months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The imminent return of the all-action 20-year-old, who has been out since the opening-day defeat by Aston Villa, comes as a boost at the end of what has been a difficult week following the news Theo Walcott is out for the season after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage during the FA Cup win over Tottenham.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has stepped up his rehabilitation programme and is pencilled in for the under-21s game at Fulham on Thursday and could be drafted back after the next Premier League game, at Aston Villa on Monday. The former Southampton trainee – who signed for Arsenal for £12m in 2011 – scored for England in the 2-2 draw against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in June and would like nothing more than to return to South America this summer.

"As a young guy growing up watching football and watching World Cups, this will be my first one [that I can play in)," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player. "Obviously I went to the Euros (2012 in Poland/Ukraine), 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, the World Cup is definitely something I would like to achieve." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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