For years now Arsene Wenger has spoken about the Arsenal and England international star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position being in central midfield, and more specifically the sort of box-to-box role that has usually been taken by Aaron Ramsey or Santi Cazorla.
In the summer transfer window the Arsenal boss added Granit Xhaka to his midfield options and on one hand these names give us a reason why the Ox has not had much of a chance to prove his manager right about the position being his best. But given a chance just recently, due to the injuries, suspension and absence, the 23-year old has shone and has been arguably the Gunner’s best player in a bad spell of matches.
After his performance against Hull City yesterday the pundits on Match of the Day were full of praise for him but they also questioned Wenger as to why he gets so little game time, especially in that central area. Even yesterday the Frenchman subbed Chamberlain off despite his effectiveness, so why is he holding the lad back?
I think that Wenger wants the Ox to be more like his usual type of midfielder, like Rosicky, Cazorla and all, but he is more of a direct and powerful player. For me that is a good thing because Arsenal and any other team needs balance and not just 11 players of the same type.
Chambo has had more than his fair share of injury problems but even when fit he seems to be a fringe player at the club. In the last four seasons the Ox has made just 118 Premier League appearances and a lot of them he has either not started or completed.
Do you think he should play more? Should he get more chances in the middle? Is Wenger right or wrong in the way he uses this young Gunner?