With Santi Cazorla out injured, Wenger will try and test different players in the central midfield. In Arsenal’s match against Aston Villa, that position was played by Aaron Ramsey. However, Oxlade Chamberlain has suggested that he too is able to perform well in a central role. With growing competition to achieve the opportunity to start in games, Oxlade believes versatility is important for a player.
Speaking to the Arsenal’s Weekly Podcast, the 22 year old expressed his interest in being flexible enough to play in different positions. “Versatility is an extra string to a player’s bow,’ he said. ‘In the long run it’s probably better to tie yourself down to one position and really become established in one area to be as good as you can in that position.”
“However, you look at the likes of Philipp Lahm who is one of the best right backs in the world, but he can also go into midfield and play as if he’s one of the best midfielders in the world.”
“Throughout your career you will always be asked to play slightly different positions here and there, and obviously the needs of the team comes first so if you need to fill in at a different position, you’ll be expected to do that. It’s important for any player to be versatile enough to be able to play in different positions.”
“I’m quite lucky because I enjoy playing on the wing and in midfield as well. I’ve become more used to playing on the wing because I’ve played there more than I have in the middle. Growing up, I played more centrally which is why whenever I do get asked to play there, I’m more than happy to do that.”
Oxlade Chamberlain mostly plays a wing for the Gunners. This is also because of his lightening pace and the ability to send vital crosses into the box. However, with Sanchez missing and Ramsey falling short when it comes to speed, Chamberlain can prove vital in the midfield too, especially against aggressive teams, where pace is a crucial advantage.