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Former Arsenal midfielder explains why he would drop Bellerin for The Ox

Date Posted,August 1, 2017

Perry Groves believes Arsenal right wing-back Hector Bellerin should be dropped for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The former Gunners midfielder, who represented the north London club for six years, making more than 150 league appearances in this time, says the Englishman’s strong performances should earn him a regular place in the first team.

And given that he can play both right wing and right wing-back, should start ahead of Bellerin in Arsene Wenger’s new look Arsenal side.

“For me, it was interesting to see how we’d set up and it’s clear that Arsene is continuing to adopt the 3-4-2-1 formation,” said Groves, speaking to sports.bwin.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been on the radar of a few teams this transfer window (Image: REUTERS)

“I think this is the right formation for us moving forward. With the three centre halves, it gives you more solidity and balance.

“Oxlade-Chamberlain has proved that he can play either wing-back position and I was incredibly impressed with Sead Kolasinac, he’s strong but also versatile, he can play as a left centre-back as well.

“If you go on the performances of last season, Oxlade-Chamberlain should start over Bellerin.

Perry Groves believes Oxlade-Chamberlain should be played over Bellerin (Image: Rex Features)

“The position switch has essentially increased his value as he’s got an added role. He’s devastating down the wing, but also improving on his defensive duties.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future has been the subject of speculation throughout this transfer window with both Liverpool and Chelsea keeping tabs on the winger.

The England international has only one year left on his current Arsenal contract and has turned down two new offers.

The England international has yet to sign a contract extension with the Gunners (Image: Getty Images AsiaPac)

And Groves believes it is imperative the Gunners retain the 23-year-old’s services.

“He has a lot of natural talent and a great attitude, but it’s taken him a while to find his best position,” said Groves.

“Now he sees himself as a first team player, so there’s an expectation to start more games.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea have been monitoring Oxlade-Chamberlain’s situation (Image: Julian Finney)

“He likes playing the wing-back role because he can run from deep, has fantastic stamina and when he’s in that final third, he has the quality of a winger.

“There are very few players in the Premier League who have his assets and ability.”

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