Unleash The Ox! Time to let him free in Ozil's attacking role

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal have a dilemma with regard to replacing Mesut Ozil, could Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fill the void?

Mesut Ozil's injury leaves Arsenal with a dilemma, but with it an opportunity too.

Arsene Wenger played Jack Wilshere in Ozil's position when he missed games earlier in the season, but the Englishman is also on the treatment table.

Arsenal do have options, Santi Cazorla is the most natural fit, playing the central attacking role several times last season, and this would in turn allow Lukas Podolski a starting berth on the left in the crucial game against Tottenham.

Tomas Rosicky is perfectly capable of pulling the strings in the position - a safe choice like Cazorla, and did well when he came on for Ozil against Bayern, but there is one other outstanding candidate: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The attacker has been superb in recent weeks, particularly so against Bayern Munich, where his direct running posed a big threat to the German backline, particularly in the first half.

He has frequently spoken about his desire to play centrally, although when he has done so, such as his two goal performance against Crystal Palace, it has been in a deeper role.

Away to Spurs, Arsene Wenger may be expected to field Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta in defensive central midfield positions.

This means Wenger must juggle his attacking midfielders around behind Olivier Giroud. Cazorla is a certainty to start, which makes it difficult to fit Chamberlain in the centre if he wants to play Podolski, but Serge Gnabry's bright cameo in Munich makes him a contender to play on the right and Podolski dropping to the bench.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has the credentials to excel in the role. His eye for goal, his directness, and quick feet, can cause any defence problems, and he won't be constrained with as many defensive duties as he would be further back.

Whether this weekend is the time to trial such a move is another matter, but Wenger is not afraid of such decisions, as seen by his selection of Yaya Sanogo against Bayern Munich.

'Unleashing The Ox' against a Tottenham side which appear low on confidence will be the last thing Tim Sherwood needs, and certainly not a move he may expect - which in turn is perhaps the exact reason Arsene Wenger should do so.

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