Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain claims that his transition to wing-back in recent weeks feels very natural.
- Ox has been getting more game time
- Has one year left on Arsenal contract
- Relentlessly linked with Liverpool
- Happy with ‘natural’ new role
The Ox is no stranger to being moved out of his preferred position.
The 23-year-old has played in central midfield, out right, to the left, on the wing, and is now occupying the position of ‘wing-back’ after Arsene Wenger decided to switch Arsenal’s formation to 3-4-2-1.
Although the England international has previously expressed a preference for playing centrally, he claims to be enjoying his new role, which gives him more space and time to run with the ball.
“It suits my game because when I’m playing wing-back there’s a lot of space to run into,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I feel like I’m more natural running with the ball as opposed to running off the ball for someone to play over the top.
“I like to be able to run with it and be a bit more of a midfield influence as opposed to a forward. Playing at wing-back, I receive a lot of balls deep and then I’ve got a few options.
“I can pass back to my centre half, look for Granit or Aaron in midfield, I could look for Mesut or Danny if one of them wants to run into the channels or in behind, or I have the option to cross from deep.”
The Ox won Man of the Match against Manchester City during Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win doing precisely this and he seems to have taken to his new role like a duck to water.
With just one year left on his current deal and reports relentlessly linking him with the move to Liverpool, it’s reassuring to hear that the Ox is happy and relishing the fact that he’s getting plenty of game time.