The future looks bright for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, nobody can deny that. He possesses not only the mental aptitude for playing at the highest level, but his skill and athleticism is truly outstanding.
The 18-year-old is a purebred sporting talent, not only does he hold a cricket record for being the youngest centurion in Hampshire League cricket, smashing 100 not out for Locksheath at the age of just 13, but he also came close to committing his career to rugby after the talented youngster was asked to trial for the London Irish.
The Ox made his first start for England on Saturday against Belgium, a week after gaining his first cap in the number 10 role behind the striker. Hodgson is impressed with the tricky attacker and sees him as a versatile midfielder that can play right the way across the park.
Wenger has mainly used his latest starlet on the wings, however Chambo was utilized in the advanced central midfielder role against AC Milan in the exciting performance that almost saw the Gunners overturn the huge deficit after their first round loss. The newly capped England international certainly deserves a starting berth in Arsenal’s midfield, and could be key to finally restore goals to the heart of the Gunners lineup.
Since the loss of Fabregas last summer Arsenal’s midfield lacked the killer punch, the final ball was often sloppy and the minimal amount of goals were masked only by the excellence of Van Persie. Alex Song certainly contributed to the rejuvinated Arsenal attack through his unexpected creativity and Rosicky’s return to form was a much welcomed boost for a side that were often lackluster in the final third.
So what can Oxlade-Chamberlain offer? His calmness on the ball, as well as the explosive pace and memorizing skill combined with a killer strike, the Ox may be the answer Wenger requires to fill ‘the Fab gap’. He was bought to eventually make the transition from out wide to a more central role which is something not many knew, which further illustrates his difference from teammate and fellow Southampton graduate Theo Walcott.
The Ox will hopefully have the opportunity to be England’s super sub this summer at the Euro’s, but it remains to be seen where exactly Hodgson will deploy the youngster. It will be exciting to see him play more and more through the middle, his trickery will always draw free kicks which is useful asset.
Personally I’d like to see the talented youngster start more games next season in a more central position as he can give the Gunners a younger and more dangerous approach through the middle.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Oxlade-Chamberlain has the ability and necessary skill set to become Arsenal’s regular central attacking midfielder? Feel free to comment below or on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fan page