In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain transfer news, it’s reported Liverpool are preparing a move to rival Chelsea’s interest. There’s reports he has turned down several contract offers at Arsenal with the latest being £180,000 a week. Oxlade-Chamberlain is another Arsenal player about to enter the final year of his contract so they run the risk of losing another valuable asset for nothing if they don’t sell as it looks like he has no intention of signing a new contract.
We have a look at where Oxlade-Chamberlain could end up…
Nationality: 29 caps 6 goals
Position: predominantly seen as a wide attacking midfielder, particularly on the right but given Arsenal’s recent formation change he has found himself in a wing-back role.
Reported transfer Fee: £30mil
2016/17 League Stats: 16 starts (13 sub appearances) 2 goals (7 assists)
You might soon be starting to notice a theme with some of the Arsenal player’s involved in transfer rumours at the moment. Someone is refusing to sign a new contract. Someone is entering the final year of their current contract. Arsenal are therefore in a weak position. Well ‘Someone’ is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain today.
Why is Oxlade-Chamberlain refusing to sign a new contract? Take your pick out of the numerous reasons it could be…
- Does he want more money? Possible but Arsenal have offered £180k if reports are to be believed. That’s a pretty competitive offer.
- Although he’s started all of Arsenal’s games so far this season, does he want to play more regularly? He’s struggled to establish himself.
- Does he want to play in the Champions League? Arsenal failed to qualify this season.
- With so many players out of contract and the lack of transfer activity, is he becoming disillusioned with Arsenal’s ambition?
- Is he fed up being used as a wing-back? I’m still not completely sure where his best position is, he’s been moved around so much. Does he know?
It could be any of those mentioned but the fact there’s so many possibilities says a lot about the situation at Arsenal right now.
Arsenal’s transfer policy has been confusing for several years now. Obvious squad weaknesses have not been sorted year upon year. Whilst their contract policy has been even worst. Some serious questions need to be asked of those responsible to allow so many contracts of their top players run down to the last year. Add the under achievement on the pitch and things are a bit of a mess at the club. Is it really any surprise Oxlade-Chamberlain is considering his leaving?
Despite 6 seasons at Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled to hold down a place in the Arsenal first-team. 17 league starts in 2014/15 is the best he has managed since he’s been at Arsenal. That’s still less than half of the possible games. It’s a pretty damning stat. Sure he’s had some injury problems but in those 6 seasons he been on the bench 93 times in the league alone.
He’s clearly failed to develop as much as had hoped at Arsenal so a move might be a good thing to kick-start his career. At 24 years old he really needs to start fulfilling this potential everybody talks about soon though.
It’s not completely out of the question that Oxlade-Chamberlain will join Liverpool. Having Jurgen Klopp as manager would likely add to the appeal given his clear popularity with players. So it’s a possibility but I would be personally surprised if he opted for Liverpool.
They may have dominated Arsenal recently but ultimately I don’t expect their league positions to be too far apart come the end of the season. I would have thought if he was to leave Arsenal, with all the disruption a move entails, he’d be looking to move to a considerably better team.
Whilst there will be other teams capable of offering a more attractive wage than Liverpool too. Man City and Chelsea clearly have greater financial resources.
It’s also hard to see Oxlade-Chamberlain getting much more game-time at Liverpool. Arguably the competition for places is stiffer. Mane, Salah and Firmino have started the season well and look far more dangerous and consistent with it than Oxlade-Chamberlain’s form has ever looked. Coutinho’s future is still undecided too whilst there’s Daniel Sturridge sitting on the bench.
Oxlade-Chamberlain would be around 6th choice amongst these players, quite comfortably.
He has had runs in both the Arsenal and England teams as a central midfielder. So it’s possible he could be used there again. However he hasn’t shown that it’s a position he will particularly thrive in. He lacks the strength and discipline for a balanced position such as this when I’ve seen him.
Liverpool aren’t as strong in centre midfield though so he may get closer to the first-team if he was converted into a more central player permanently. That said, Emre Can, Henderson and Wijnaldum should remain first choice, if everyone is fit, for the foreseeable future.
Chelsea look like a very serious option for Oxlade-Chamberlain too, they seem to have been linked just as much with the England international. There could even be a case that he has the strongest chance to feature regularly at the Champions. Recently Arsenal have been playing a very similar system to Chelsea and Oxlade-Chamberlain has been used as a right wing-back.
At Chelsea only Victor Moses would provide natural competition for this position. Moses was a revelation last season and there’s probably no better example of Conte’s managerial skills in how he transformed the Nigerian. Nonetheless, he poses much less competition for Oxlade-Chamberlain who could push him very closely for a regular starting position.
Does he see himself as a wing-back though? He won’t make much of an impression on Chelsea’s midfield.
Arsenal won’t want to sell to a rival but unlike Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t a game changer and nowhere near the same quality. They should be more open to cash in now rather than let him leave for nothing in a years time. £30-40mil isn’t bad business regardless of his contract situation, although it’s probably safe to say his value would be £10-20mil more if he was tied down to a longer contract.
I don’t think he’d a huge loss, his performance against Liverpool, like many, looked weary with very little left to offer Arsenal. He needs something to rejuvenate his career, maybe a move will be it.
I expect Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave. The London factor, higher wages and easier route to the first-team surely makes Chelsea favourites…
What do you think? Where will Oxlade-Chamberlain end up next season? Arsenal? Liverpool? Chelsea? Man City? Leave your comments below.