England captain Steven Gerrard has hailed the ability and impact of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the Arsenal youngster made his first competitive start for the Three Lions in the 1-1 draw with France on Monday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had only picked up two previous caps for England, both of which came in pre-tournament friendlies, but he was given the nod ahead of Stewart Downing on the left flank against Les Bleus.
Liverpool star Gerrard was pleased with the performance of the 18-year-old as well as the other younger players in the side, insisting that age has no bearing when it comes to selection and believing that if you are good enough you will play.
Speaking to ITV after the match, Gerrard said: "[We had] Young players, but good players. I think Wayne Rooney showed all those years ago that if you’re good enough you’re old enough.
"I think Oxlade-Chamerblain showed tonight that he is good enough for this level. He has still got a lot of learning to do but playing with experienced players, he will pick that up quickly."
On the night England appeared to suffer from several harsh decisions made by the referee, with free-kicks hard to come by, but Gerrard was quick to dismiss the role played by officials.
He continued: "We aren’t going to look for excuses. Sometimes we got decisions we didn’t deserve.
"We aren’t going to look to the referee, we will look at our performance and analyse what we did right and what we did wrong."
Overall, Gerrard was pleased with the point against a France side many fancied to beat Roy Hodgson's team, with the 32-year-old challenging his team-mates to earn three points against Sweden in their next match.
"We would’ve been delighted with a win," Gerrard admitted. "But you have seen tonight France have fantastic players.
"I think we caused them as many problems as they caused us so we are satisfied with the performance. I also said before the game no matter what the result was today to not get carried away.
"It’s going to a platform and it is great to get off the mark points wise and now we need to follow that with a win and try to get four points after two games."