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Oxlade-Chamberlain happy to play wherever asked

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says he is happy to play wherever Arsene Wenger asks him to as Arsenal press to end their 12-year wait for a Premier League title.

The former Southampton youngster has been mainly utilised out wide since arriving at the Emirates Stadium in 2011, but would be comfortable playing a more central role if called upon over the busy Christmas period, which gets under way against Manchester City on Monday.

“Versatility is an extra string to a player’s bow,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “In the long run it’s probably better to tie yourself down to one position and really become established in one area to be as good as you can in that position.

“However, you look at the likes of [Bayern Munich’s] Philipp Lahm, who is one of the best right backs in the world, but he can also go into midfield and play as if he’s one of the best midfielders in the world.

“Throughout your career you will always be asked to play slightly different positions here and there, and obviously the needs of the team come first, so if you need to fill in at a different position, you’ll be expected to do that.

“It’s important for any player to be versatile enough to be able to play in different positions.

“I’m quite lucky because I enjoy playing on the wing and in midfield as well. I’ve become more used to playing on the wing because I’ve played there more than I have in the middle. Growing up, I played more centrally which is why whenever I do get asked to play there, I’m more than happy to do that.

“There are times in the game as well when, because of the way the team plays, I might be on the wing, but for a 10-minute period I might end up playing in midfield and I feel at home doing that.

“Sometimes it’s nicer to play in midfield because you get more of the ball whereas when you’re out wide you rely on people to get you the ball, but then when you are on the wing you have then license to attack a bit more and run at people which is a strong part of my game. I’m happy to play in both positions.”

Arsenal sit second in the Premier League, two points adrift of leaders Leicester City and one ahead of Manchester City.

Tue 15 Dec, 2015
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