Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: What His Injury Means for Arsenal
Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up an injury in his side's embarrassing 1-0 loss to Norwich City in the English Premier League this weekend, leaving many Gunners' fans wondering just how long the England international will be out of action for.
The man they affectionately call The Ox lasted just nine minutes at Carrow Road on Saturday before limping off the field, after he was introduced as a substitute in the second half—a disastrous sight for many Gunners fans.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to give insight as to the long-term impact or nature of the injury—looking only to Wendesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Schalke, where he said that Oxlade-Chamberlain would not be fit and available for selection.
It was a kick on the hip. It is not long-term but he [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out for Wednesday].
I don't see anyone new being [back] for Wednesday night. The closest will be [Kieran] Gibbs, but he will not be ready. [Theo] Walcott will not be ready either.
The injury brings with it an interesting problem for the Gunners' boss, with few options available out wide now that Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott are both injured.
Gervinho has been playing sporadically, playing good football coupled with moments of absolutely terrible football, and midfielder Jack Wilshere is probably not ready yet in his return from injury to play any significant game time against the Bundesliga side.
Throw in the fact that Abou Diaby is also not likely to be fit until early November in his recovery from a muscle strain (per Injury Room) and the Gunners are starting to become very thin throughout midfield this year.
Fortunately, they are in a good position in the Champions League so far, and thus can afford to play a little more defensively and conservatively when they welcome Schalke to the Emirates Stadium, though they would like to also shore up with the three points that the match offers.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury is likely to benefit Aaron Ramsey, who could see time at either defensive midfield or out on the right wing as a result.
Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla will both probably start against Schalke—giving Wenger the option of using Ramsey on the right wing ahead of Gervinho or even as defensive midfielder ahead of Francis Coquelin if he needs to.
The Gunners can cover the injury well if it is indeed only a short-term knock, as a plethora of players are due to arrive back from injury in the next couple of weeks.
Anything longer and they will start to feel an impact, but this one appears to only be a short-term thing—much to the delight of Arsenal fans.
Glad to have some good news this weekend.
Will Arsenal miss Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain vs. Schalke?
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