Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled with injuries and keeping his place in the starting line-up over the years, but he’s got a fresh chance.
The 23-year-old has been deployed in central midfield in recent weeks, with Arsene Wenger looking for solutions given his absentees elsewhere.
From Granit Xhaka being suspended, Mohamed Elneny away on international duty to Santi Cazorla’s costly injury absence, it has all led to Oxlade-Chamberlain shifting further back and playing in a two-man midfield.
Having previously impressed against Southampton in the FA Cup and having come out of the Chelsea defeat with some praise, he again showed what he can provide against Hull City on Saturday.
Admittedly, there is still a degree of maturity that he needs to develop with this role as he can ill-afford to break forward too much and leave his teammates exposed behind him.
Nevertheless, from bursting runs from deep and carrying the ball to the final third or showing his strength and battling against his rivals, it was a really solid performance from the England international who will hope to keep his place in the side moving forward.
Xhaka returns next week while Elneny is back in the squad after coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations. In turn, competition is fierce again and it’s more than likely Wenger will go for natural midfielders.
However, he really does need to consider using Oxlade-Chamberlain more, and perhaps with Mesut Ozil continuing to be ineffective, an advanced role through the middle may give him a chance to really let the shackles off if Wenger is brave enough to drop the German international.
— Arsenal (@AFCvideosHD) February 11, 2017