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Wenger: Ox Like Gerard

Arsene Wenger has claimed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the same qualities as Liverpool legend Steven Gerard and that he should be played in a central role.

The 20 year old has been on the side lines since the opening day of the season and made a welcome return to first team action when he gained some game time for the Under-21s.

Oxlade-Chamberlain could be named on the bench for the Gunners clash against Aston Villa on Monday, and the youngster may force his way into Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup later this year.

"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, however, did warn against expecting too much too soon from the former Southampton starlet.

"At the moment he is still in formation," the Arsenal boss said.

"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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