Can Oxlade-Chamberlain force his way into Arsenal's starting line-up?

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring their first goal

After an impressive brace against Reading, is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the cusp of forcing his way back into Arsenal's starting line-up?

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring their first goal

Another game, another goal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

That is a sentence that many Arsenal fans would have been waiting to say since the precocious youngster arrived on the scene from Southampton. Well, that day is here.

The Ox has not been playing week in, week out. He has actually been kept out of the first team by Alex Iwobi, another young talent. But recently, when he has played, he has changed the game and made a telling contribution.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring their first goal

At the start of the season, when Arsenal lost 4-3 to Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain's substitution for Iwobi was the catalyst for a fight-back, helping to reduce the deficit from 4-1 with a goal and generally impressive attacking play.

He was rewarded with a starting spot in the next game, but he failed to make an impact in the next three league fixtures.

The Ox was then dropped for Iwobi, who marked his return to the starting line-up with two assists in the 4-1 win over Hull City. He kept his place for the next game against Chelsea, where another impressive performance further cemented his claim for a starting spot.

That meant that chances for the Ox were few and far between. However, he was handed starts in the EFL Cup games against Nottingham Forest and, more recently, Reading, along with the Champions League group game against Ludogorets.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores their first goal

He has scored and impressed in all three fixtures - one apiece in the routs of Nottingham Forest and Ludogorets (4-1 and 6-0, respectively) and both goals in the 2-0 against Reading, sending the Gunners through to the quarter-finals.

Four goals in three starts makes for impressive reading - albeit against inferior opposition - and it is a stat that may give manager Arsene Wenger a selection headache. 

Iwobi has been very impressive from a creative standpoint, the youngster's vision and technique have been a valuable contribution to the way Arsenal play, and to easing the creative burden on Mesut Ozil's shoulders. 

However, he is yet to score this season, and while Arsenal's blank against Middlesbrough was by no means Iwobi's fault, the youngster clearly has more of an aptitude for a perfectly-weighted pass than a shot on goal.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores their second goal

Oxlade-Chamberlain's recent hot streak in front of goal - coupled with impressive all-round attacking play - gives Wenger another pacy, direct option on the wing to select if he so desires. The Ox will certainly hope to have earned himself a spot, but he must kick on from there and continue to contribute once he's in the team. 

He certainly has the talent, and Arsenal fans will be hoping to finally see him start to fulfill his obvious potential.

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