Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has to step up in the absence of Aaron Ramsey

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Arsenal were fantastic in their 2-0 win over Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, but spare a thought for Aaron Ramsey.

The Welsh midfielder was forced to leave the action just before the hour mark at the Emirates having suffered his fourth hamstring injury since September last year. 

After struggling at the beginning of the season, Ramsey was back among the goals during the Gunners' 3-0 win over Watford last weekend and looked be returning to his best.


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However, the injury to the 24-year-old, who has played the majority of his games recently at right-midfield, offers another player the opportunity to step up.

The man likely to replace him is England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 22-year-old is in his fifth season at the Emirates and is still knocking on the door for a regular starting role. 

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The former Southampton player has made over 100 appearances in all competitions for Arsene Wenger's men but has had to make do with a bit-part role. Only 42 of his 87 league games have come from the start.

Even more surprising is the fact he has only completed nine Premier League matches for the north London club. 

Despite all the excitement and promise that he will develop into a top level player, he is yet to show that on a consistent basis.

Quite often, when given the opportunity to shine by Wenger he has failed to deliver. Six league goals in those 87 matches is not a strong return for an attacking player.

Admittedly, he was one of Arsenal's star performers in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham and scored the winning goal in the Community Shield, but having only made two starts in the league, he has failed to establish himself once again.

Time is on his side; at 22 there are still may years left for the Southampton academy graduate to improve at Arsenal. 

But his end product will have to improve sooner rather than later; pace, speed and power can only get you so far. What he can achieve in the final third is the only thing he will be remembered for.

With Ramsey out for a month, the winger has to show he can be a regular at the Emirates. If he falls short, questions will have to be asked as to why the Ox can't usurp a natural central midfielder.

Will Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain excel in the absence of Aaron Ramsey? Have your say in the comments section below!

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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