How Should Arsenal Use Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Maximize his Potential?


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Arsenal’s top prospects for quite some time. His speed, work rate and physicality are a combination rarely seen in a single player. And at only 21 years of age, he still has plenty of room to grow and mature into one of the best in the world.

But the question is, where exactly is he going to make the biggest impact at Arsenal?

More from Pain in the Arsenal

In an interesting piece by World Soccer Talk, the point is made that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s versatility may be a negative influence on his career development because he can’t really learn and grow into a single role and master that role, he ‘s continually moving around.

While versatility is usually a good thing, especially in Arsene Wenger’s eyes, for the Ox, it means that he has had no real continual run in the Arsenal starting XI. With Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and more all clamoring for a finite number of spots, the Ox is usually confined to spot starts or chances as an impact sub. But no career was ever made as a sport starter or impact sub.

So what can Arsenal do exactly?

It’s a tough question to address. Playing time is the unquestionable answer, but playing time is tough to come by with the loaded attack that Arsenal have.

The first thing to address is what his best position is.

Based solely on‘s player rating by positions, as long as he’s on the middle or right side of the field, he has no weak position. His form dips a bit when put on the left, but that’s a small sample size.

The Ox really is a unique talent. He has the speed of a winger, the work rate of a box-to-box midfielder, and the physicality and strength of a holding midfielder, all fairly equally distributed among his skill set. He was even identified by Kieran Gibbs as having the hardest shot on the team (via HITC Sports).

If Theo Walcott does decide to move on, as speculation hints he will, then the Ox may start to find his way paved, but Arsenal are loyal to their players, and he can’t rely on someone else moving in order to get his chance to solidify himself in the starting squad.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has three goals and three assists in 34 appearances this season. That’s a fairly low return for the quality of work he puts in. He is a constant force on the pitch, moving about like Alexis Sanchez but much stronger. It’s a fearsome dynamic that needs to be featured on the pitch on any given match day. He provided the sole bright spot against Monaco as an impact sub, but the Ox can’t be an impact sub forever, so again, where does he go?

Since’s he’s always the best on the right, he will have to play on the right. With Alexis Sanchez on the left wing and Mesut Ozil in the middle, the right wing is actually fairly up for grabs as is. Danny Welbeck isn’t performing well and Theo Walcott’s situation is a silent mess, so why not the Ox?

More from Arsenal News

First-team playing time is all that he needs to start establishing himself as the wrecking ball he can become. He’s been seen making spectacular performances as long as three years ago when he was just 18. Now that he’s 21, he should have progressed into a sure-fire starter.

But he hasn’t. He’s still part of a muddled collection of attackers that come in and out of form. Something has to give. As it stands, he’s the best option for right wing. Therefore he must prove that that position is his and no one else’s.

For more up-to-date news, follow Pain in the Arsenal on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Next: Arsenal vs QPR Player Ratings