Wenger: Chamberlain can play centrally

ChamberlaiArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has heaped special praise on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of the Gunners FA Cup clash against Coventry City on Friday.

The 20 year old midfielder is in line to make his first start for the Gunners since the opening day of the season following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.

Wenger believes the England international has all the ingredients to play in the centre of midfield in the near future.

“He is in advance of where every player of his age is. He is in the national team, a regular player here and he has just been handicapped by a four-month injury but overall he is in a very strong position”, Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.

“He can play centrally, yes. It is not some way off. He can play central, it is just always [important] to find the right balance because around him you need always a more defensive player, but I like his qualities in the middle because he can penetrate and has good power to get out of pressure.

“That is a very important quality in the middle of the park now and he can pass people, can accelerate the game as well, has a good final ball as well and a good long pass.”

He is young and has the pace and crossing ability required playing on the wing. He also has a great shot so logic suggests he should play wide right or wide left in a three, but you can see when he plays that he wants to be the man in the middle. Many people might not see him as a central player in midfield but, like Wenger said, he exactly has what it takes to play in the centre.

Remember the Champions League game against Milan?

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