New role earmarked for Pompey youngster

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Midfielder’s ready to fight for Pompey starting spot

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Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain has been earmarked for a new Pompey role.

Boss Kenny Jackett believes the 19-year-old can mould himself into a ‘powerhouse right-back.’

Oxlade-Chamberlain has risen through the Blues’ Academy ranks principally as either a central midfielder or an attacker.

Since taking the Fratton Park helm in June, Jackett feels the fledgling talent has the technique and ability to transform himself into a right-sided defender.

Oxlade-Chamberlain – currently out on loan at National league South outfit Poole Town – impressed in the position in Pompey Reserves’ 1-0 victory over Southend United last week at Westleigh Park.

And Jackett insists the teenager has the attributes to become a modern-day full back.

The Blues manager said: ‘He hasn’t had a proper position during his career.

‘Christian tells me he is a central midfielder and he started the season in that role.

‘He’s out on loan at Poole at the moment where he is currently being used as a centre forward.

‘I don’t think he is best suited to either of those positions.

‘Christian has the right attributes to become a modern-day full-back.

‘What I’m looking for from him now is for him to settle down in our reserve side and in any loan arrangement.

‘He has a chance out on loan at Poole and there is a bit to come from him physically, as well.

‘I think he can develop and has the attributes to become a powerhouse player.

‘If he can learn defensively and when to come out and get on the ball, he could develop to become the type of full-back that I want.’

Oxlade-Chamberlain came on as a substitute for Poole in their 2-1 home defeat to Hungerford on Monday.

Jez Bedford also was a second-half substitute for the Dolphins.

Both of their loan deals come to a close on September 3.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain functioning as a forward at the Tatnam Ground, Jackett will assess if the former St John’s College student will stay at Poole or go out on loan elsewhere once his current deal has expired.

‘Christian has had games there which is good for him,’ he added.

‘Whether he stays at Poole or goes somewhere else, we will see.

‘He has six games in the Premier League Cup for us and we will arrange more games.

‘Christian is a smashing lad in terms of attitude and personality.’

– WILL ROONEY