Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss four weeks because of a hamstring injury, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The midfielder picked up the injury during Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Manchester United earlier this week, which setup an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley for Arsene Wenger’s team.
It’s a blow for the team for several reasons, but predominantly because the Ox is a key option out wide for the side. Arsenal don’t have an abundance of wingers in their squad and it will be interesting to see how Wenger adapts to the situation.
He has one in the form of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has tremendous experience of playing down the wing on either side of the pitch and provides a real threat wherever he plays across Arsenal’s midfield.
However, he’s been effective in central positions and Wenger could be wary of asking him to adapt and change too many times, which raises the possibility that his game could become seriously affected, lessening his impact over the rest of the season.
Theo Walcott is also an option and someone who would mean that Arsenal don’t have to sacrifice anything in terms of the pace and drive involved with their attacking play.
The problem with Walcott is that he’s not seen a tremendous amount of football in recent weeks and he’ll be rusty, but eager to get back involved in the action which will allow him the chance to influence big games.
It will be tempting for Wenger to try and rush the Ox back considering Arsenal are still fighting on multiple fronts this season. However, hamstring problems are difficult injuries to judge and can often reoccur if players are thrown back into a team before they’re ready.
Here’s what Arsenal fans on Twitter had to say about the bad news.
Actually think the OX injury hurts a bit. He has been so good this season. Always reliable. #Arsenal— Daniel Romanello (@Dannyromanello) March 11, 2015
Ox's injury problems are really worrying, infuriating, concerning, fucking annoying... And everything in between. Such talent.— Kev (@GarrulousGooner) March 10, 2015
The sky really is the limit for The Ox and providing he gets over his injury troubles he'll fulfil his potential soon enough.— LINA (@TurkishortyGoon) March 10, 2015
The OX has been excellent in the second half of the season. Praying the injury isn't too serious. Strength & pace— Osman (@OsmanZtheGooner) March 10, 2015
Sad to hear that the Ox is out for a month with a hamstring injury— Rosickly (@Rosickly) March 10, 2015
Gutted for Ox another month on the injury room. He was our best player first half yesterday. Hope he's fit to play at Wembley.— Marjan (@MarjanAFC) March 10, 2015
Ox is a massive loss, have Wilshere, Ramsey or Ox ever had an injury free season?— Philip (@zwz121) March 10, 2015