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Jan 11, 2014

Wenger: Ox can be next Steven Gerrard

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can one day develop into England's next Steven Gerrard.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2011
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been tipped for a big future.

- Mangan: Ox gets a shot
- McNicholas: Opportunity knocks

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, has been out since the opening day of the Premier League season with a knee problem and returns to fill the void left as Theo Walcott was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury of his own.

However, the French boss doesn't believe that the former Southampton starlet should be playing his whole career on the wing and could fit in the mould of one of the best midfielders in Premier League history.

"He has a good opportunity now. I think he will be in Roy Hodgson's plans as he can play central and wide. On that front England do not have too many players,'' the Arsenal boss said.

"He had a big impact when he came on in that [friendly] game against Brazil [in June 2013], especially in central midfield, and deep in central midfield his future will be there.

"He has a good long ball, penetration from deep and a good quality to distribute and penetrate individually. Certainly he has the same qualities to Steven Gerrard.''

Wenger, though, warned against expecting too much too soon.

"At the moment he is still in formation,'' he added. "It is good for his education as he plays left, right and central when needed. After 23 or 24 you settle in a definite position.''

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