“Artist” Oxlade-Chamberlain was back in his natural position v Southampton – Martin Keown

“Artist” Oxlade-Chamberlain was back in his natural position v Southampton – Martin Keown

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produced a performance of an “artist” during Arsenal‘s victory over Southampton, according to Martin Keown.

With Granit Xhaka suspended, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin rested, the England international was selected for a central midfield role in a very attacking XI for the Gunners at St Mary’s in the FA Cup fourth round tie.

The 23-year-old put in a terrific performance from the deeper position and played a number of terrific passes for his teammates, including a sensational assist for Danny Welbeck’s second goal.

The No.15 used to play in a midfield role during his younger years and former Arsenal defender Keown believes that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pace and precision makes the position his most natural area on the field.

And the pundit added that he was greatly impressed with what he had seen from the midfielder, highlighting Arsene Wenger’s love for beautiful and expressive football and describing Oxlade-Chamberlain as an “artist”.

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Keown told BT Sport after the match: “Arsene Wenger is particularly interested in the artistic part of the game. He wants to see artists and you saw one at work [against Southampton].

“He’s got willing runners but you need someone to pick out the pass. There was a variation to his play. He has played in the centre-midfield role as a young kid.

“There’s a lot of injuries and it’s almost been forced on Wenger but I feel that it’s his natural position because he has that pace as well. He was always looking for a pass. You need that player to make those passes. It’s balance.”

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has created 19 chances in the Premier League this season