Wenger: Oxlade-Chamberlain can emulate Zidane, Beckham on flanks

The Arsenal manager believes the 21-year-old can have a big future on the flank, even though the England international himself would prefer to be playing in central midfield.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's future lies on the flanks, despite the 21-year-old preferring to play in central midfield.

The former Southampton man has played in a variety of roles for the Gunners since joining the club in 2011, and had been muted as a potential replacement for Mikel Arteta while the Spaniard is sidelined.

But while Oxlade-Chamberlain's favored position is in the heart of midfield, Wenger is confident he can have as great an impact as David Beckham or Zinedine Zidane playing off the flank.

"I enjoy playing in central midfield but I'll play where the boss asks me to play," Oxlade-Chamberlain said when asked about his preferred position.

But Wenger interjected: "Beckham and Zidane played on the flanks and they turned out to be world-class players. Alex can be the same."

Wenger's declaration suggests Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to deputize for Arteta against the Turkish giant, with the Arsenal boss confirming his skipper had only suffered a "short-term injury" but would neverless miss Wednesday night's match.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured in all three of Arsenal matches this season, twice off the bench, though was withdrawn with the Gunners 2-0 down against Everton before the visitors embarked on a spirited comeback.