Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the ability to become a natural central midfielder in the future.
The 22-year-old has struggled to cement a regular first-team place this campaign but when he does play, it’s usually in a wide position.
However, the former Southampton man has occasionally been used in a more central role and his French manager explained why he feels he has the skills to make that position his own.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
"He has the attributes to play in central midfield, he has that important quality - a little surge to get out of pressure," Wenger told the Arsenal website.
"One of the things to get out of pressure is to have a little dribble to get away from the guy who closes you down and nobody has that more than Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"That is why he could be suited for the modern game because he has that capacity to get out of the pressure,” he added.
The Englishman was used in the aforementioned central role in Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph against Sunderland last weekend and impressed throughout the 90 minutes.
Wenger admitted that his desire to play Oxlade-Chamberlain in the central role dictated his pre-match tactics.
The Frenchman said: "That is why I played 4-3-3 [against Sunderland] because he is really suited to be right-sided, box to box in a 4-3-3 - he really fits in there.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 25 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this campaign but has only managed one goal - a sensational strike against Chelsea in the Community Shield.
With injuries to midfielders Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain may identify the central role as his best way of playing consistently as Arsenal bid to win their first title since 2004.