Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has used Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm as an example of the type of player he wants to become.
The forward has only just returned from an injury sustained against Sheffield Wednesday and currently plays on the wing despite admitting in the past that he does enjoy the central midfielder role more. However, the 22-year-old wants to become a versatile player that can play in more than one position, just like Lahm.
“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.”
At Arsenal, we’re lucky to have a number of versatile players who can be rotated. Theo, for example, is now both an excellent winger and a striker. Ramsey, despite being a better central midfielder, can also play on the wing and most of our midfielders have had a go all over the pitch. Recently, even full back Gibbs has been played further up the field and even scored from there against Spurs.
As the Ox says, although it’s good to have players who are particularly strong in one position, giving them a chance to experience football from another can come in handy.