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Wenger - 'Little surge' is vital for Ox

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsene Wenger says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability to get himself out of trouble makes him an ideal candidate to play in central midfield.

The England international has primarily been used out wide at Arsenal, but impressed after moving inside for the FA Cup win against Sunderland.

Wenger has long touted Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder, as he believes he has all the qualities necessary to thrive there.

"He has the attributes to play in central midfield, he has that important quality - a little surge to get out of pressure"

Arsene Wenger

“He has the attributes to play in central midfield, he has that important quality - a little surge to get out of pressure,” the manager said.

“One of the things to get out of pressure is to have a little dribble to get away from the guy who closes you down and nobody has that more than Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“That is why he could be suited for the modern game because he has that capacity to get out of the pressure.

“That is why I played 4-3-3 [against Sunderland] because he is really suited to be right-sided, box to box in a 4-3-3 - he really fits in there.”

Joel Campbell also impressed on Saturday, scoring and claiming an assist in the 3-1 victory. Wenger believes the Costa Rican has made the most of his opportunity.

“You want to be surprised by the quality of your players and where he surprises you is in the intensity of his teamwork,” he said.

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“I flat-refused to let him go [in the summer] because I saw something in him that gives you belief, because of his attitude.

“I always thought the attitude was there. But after Olympiacos, in a game where we were like that, knife on the throat, he turned up with something special - great teamwork and a pass for Giroud on a second goal that was massive for us.

“Then I thought, ‘He can play under pressure as well, that is important for us’.”

Referee: Mike Jones
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