Southampton Manager Nigel Adkins has admitted his delight at keeping hold of teenage prospect Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Premier League giants Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United were all linked with January moves for the 17 year old winger but he has remained a Saint for now.
“Alex is still here through all the mass speculation every day,” said Adkins.
“With every question I have had to bat off I am going to have to open the batting for England I think.”
“He’s with us, he has a smile on his face and we are nurturing him through so that he can continue to develop with us.”
Adkins views is reinforced by Saints chairman Nicola Cortese who believes Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future will be best served by staying at St Mary’s.
“From the Club’s point of view, we could have just cashed in but we care about the boy,” said Cortese.
“I do believe that for Alex the best place for him to progress over the next 18 months is here in Southampton with us. We know him inside out, he knows us inside out.”
“We honestly believe that a Premier League club could not offer anything more to the boy than we can offer apart from playing in the Premier League.”
“In terms of development and all the other aspects that are important at this age, we can deliver the same standards,” he added.