Will The Ox Be This Season’s Breakthrough Player?
Continuing from my most recent article (apologies for not posting as regularly off season) I asked who will surprise all and make himself undroppable in Arsene’s team.
I think this is a massive season for Oxlade-Chamberlain. Firstly he needs to stay fit, secondly he needs to confirm his place in the starting line-up, something he was doing a decent job of at the start of last season and thirdly he needs to maximise his impact .
The Ox is a personal favourite of mine so I tend to judge him severely due to my complete belief in his high potential ceiling.
I think he has everything in his game and my faith in his potential is why I laughed off links to Raheem Sterling throughout the summer. I much prefer The Ox’s game but admittedly he does need to improve on his stats which is something he often jokes about.
I think this season will be harder than ever for him break into the side because Ramsey and Cazorla both want to play centrally which has pushed Wilshere into a more advanced role as Wenger hinted, this is likely to see Jack play off the right.
Theo Walcott is rumoured to have signed a new deal so he’ll be staying and although he desires the CF role it’ll be a big ask for him to remain there if we buy a new striker, not to mention Arsene Wenger will always find ways to fit in Olivier Giroud.
These possible scenarios force Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott into wider positions opposing the flank that Alexis Sanchez has pretty much nailed down.
This makes for very strong competition in The Ox’s position so he has a lot to prove.
The positive for him is that he will have the opportunity to stamp his authority early on this season with both Alexis and Welbeck due to return a little later.
Besides Alexis Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain is our only other attacker that brings a real fear factor to defenders. Someone that can spontaneously produce the goods, pick the ball up from anywhere and really travel with it.
Wenger has spoken on his future and strangely sees him central. Something I don’t particularly agree with, although he could maybe play in the hole with his penetration and drive I’m not too fond of him deeper.
Everton last week and Monaco last season were situations that highlighted weaknesses in his game where he does too much in dangerous positions and both occasions led to goals conceded.
There’s a chance he’ll fill in for Alexis on the left and I like the idea of that. He’s got 2 good feet so he can drive on the outside or powerfully come inside and cause damage.He’ll be a lot less predictable than Alexis and will even increase his chances of scoring goals as an inverted winger.
A lot will depend on how much he plays this season but I’d like at least 7-10 goals from him next season with a hatful of assists whilst maintaining his recent run of strong performances and we can build from there.
I predict a dramatic Bale-esque growth from him soon and I hope the signs of that become more evident this season, a true favourite of mine.