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Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain could well be the biggest mistake Arsenal make

 

Arsenal are supposedly in the midst of a summer overhaul after manager Arsene Wenger penned his new two-year deal off the back of one of his worst seasons in the job.

After the controversial new deal was announced, signings and change were both promised. Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette have since arrived and look to be settling well, however, there is a sense that far more will be needed if the Gunners are to compete at the very top this season – which was the whole idea of keeping Wenger on in the first place.

Not only do more players need to be brought in but the dead wood cut out and those vital to the side moving forward tied down. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, both of whom have been embroiled in a contract saga since things took a turn for the worse last term, will undoubtedly grab the headlines, however there is one man Gooners are slowly becoming concerned about.

Midfielder, come winger, come wing-back (who knows?) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined the Gunners from League One for a fee of £11.73m (according to transfermarkt.com), like messrs Sanchez and Ozil has just a year remaining on his contract. However, without assurances of a guaranteed first team place doubt is beginning to creep in and the England international is being linked with a move away.

The former Southampton starlet, is now being linked with a move across London to join Premier League champions Chelsea in a £30m deal and is, in fact, just 2/1 (odds taken 31/07/2017 from betway.com) from Bet Way to be a Blue come the end of the summer window.

While the Blues would more than likely offer Chamberlain more money, and also have the Champions League to dangle in front of his nose, there is a sense that the star wants to make his time at Arsenal work.

That is a rare trait in football these days and one which should not be taken lightly. Should the reports be accurate and Antonio Conte is willing to almost treble what the Gunners paid for a young Chamberlain, his counterpart at The Emirates would do well to ignore their approaches and slide a tantalising contract the way of the 23-year-old.

In performing so well as a right wing-back in the closing stages of last season, not only has Chamberlain demonstrated his versatility to Wenger but his desire to work hard and fit in that side wherever he may be asked.

There are few Arsenal fans who see wing-back as a permanent role for the No.15, however, having impressed in pre-season once again there are even less who would want to see him leave.

There is always the argument that his career could well follow the path of another former Saints in Theo Walcott. The forward has been with the Gunners for over a decade yet is still to reach the heights expected of him when he made the move in 2006.

That is the one question mark hanging over Chamberlain, however, in a footballing world where clubs are willing to pay £50m for the likes of Kyle Walker, what’s a new contract to prevent a potential star from discovering that future at a rival club.

Wenger is faced with a choice. Sell the still young midfielder now and, while making a nice profit, risk watching him grow into a world beater just a few miles west at Chelsea, keep him for a year with no new deal and then watch the same happen without a profit or finally hand a player whose desire to play for his manager is clear for all to see the contract he desires and invest in someone who could well be a club legend by the time his career is out.

However, were Chamberlain to remain at Arsenal, Wenger would expect him to seriously commit to the club (according to hitc.com).

Put like that it may sound a little inflammatory (granted, a little is flattering – it’s really rather inflammatory), however, when the Premier League’s top clubs are so short on top English talent, why throw away the chance to nurture one of the best in a generation.

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33 comments to Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain could well be the biggest mistake Arsenal make

  • blacksheep

    er, who penned this article? It doesn’t look like one of Tony’s or Walter’s – full of what ifs and hearsay.

  • hari nair

    big mistake. No doubt about it

  • Dom

    Yep Blacksheep, that’s exactly what i was thinking…however the importance of the above view is not to be trivialised.
    I have to admit that the Ox’s situation is a little alarming.

  • Alan morris

    There is no chance of him becoming world class imo

  • Gunner26

    Yes,it will be the biggest mistake to let Oxlade go. He is young and has a bright future. He is versatile and deserves to play every game. Pay him £150,000. He is worth every Penny. He will help Arsenal win the title. He is a superb athlete. Arsenal will be the losers if he is sold.

  • Dammy

    This piece seems so ill-informed. A contract was offered to Ox last season- £100k a week I remember reading. I also remember reading he refused to sign it- which is where the speculation stems from. He later gave an interview indicating he would like to play as a central midfielder seeing himself as a “Gerrard type.” He bemoaned his lack of minutes last season attributing some of it to injuries but also non-selection.

    To me it is clear he wants to be played as a central midfielder more regularly. What Conte liked however was his performance as a right wing back. Can he improve on the 29 league games Arsenal gave him last season (albeit not in his preferred position)? probably not. Can they double the £100k a week offer Arsenal made? probably not. Perhaps somewhere in between, which Arsenal can match (maybe with add ons).

    The bottom line is the ball is neither in Conte or Wenger’s court, It is in Alex’s.

  • Chris

    Blacksheep,

    I fully agree.
    Personnaly, I do not see any reason we ought to sell him or not renes him.
    Better pay him more then pay a huge fee for any other guy coming in.
    And I believe we ain’t see nothing yet about his capabilities.
    I sure hope we don’t sell him

  • kunj

    Seriously!!.. Do you watch Ox? He only can charge forward like a headless chicken. The problem with him is he can’t think which he tries override with his physical strength. But in Modern football you need to think first which unfortunately he can’t. We’re lucky soemtimes he get past defenders and sometimes his blind crosses land on arsenal players. We should just sell him and give opportunity to Nelson.

  • finsbury

    Only an idiot or humongous blagger* could advocate the selling of the top English talent who does all the things on the football pitch that the hype merchant like to attribute to Alli etc. in their imagination as proven for country and club. Which footballer failed against the giants of Ghent and Iceland, which had impressed opposite Milan an Brazil? Not a trick question.

    *Or someone on a commission from the players’ agent (same as Sterling yikes!). Which never happens? Hehe.

  • Andy Mack

    IMO the main issue with ‘The Ox’ is that he still hasn’t shown consistently enough to play in the central midfield. He’s shown great talent regularly since he joined us (and obviously at Sotton as well) but he also shows the same inconsistency that most young players show. Unfortunately central midfield is one of the places where mistakes are more likely to cost the team, so he really needs to cut out the mistakes.
    He certainly looked much more consistent last season but was it enough?
    As for moving to Chavski or Liverpoo! (as per the media rumours), I think the young man is a bit misguided if he thinks he’s more likely to play regularly in central MF with either of those teams… One mistake in CMF with either of those teams and he’ll have the fans on his back moaning about him being an Arsenal reject, and especially with Chavski it’s unlikely they’d try him in that position again unless he’d also put in some MOTM displays as CMF previously.
    I do hope he stays with us and works at his consistency, as the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

  • Steve

    A good honest blog which highlights the importance of keeping the ox.I would be far happier to see the likes of wilshire,chambers,gabriel ,debuchy and walcott were sold before him.

  • Flares

    You’re right Dammy, it’s been widely reported he sees himself as central mid, but how on earth he thinks he’ll get that at a top six club is beyond me. Far too much quality out there ahead of him to secure that role. Sorry, but teams aren’t built around the Oxlade-Chamberlain’s of this world, and Steven Gerrard he ain’t. The Daily Star (wahey!) have reported this morning he’s ‘demanding’ 120k a week to stay, which tells me that’s probably what Chelsea have put on the table for him to switch. In which case, call me Mr Cynical but it probably is all about money, since Conte wants to use him in the same position as Wenger. Even more remarkably, I hadn’t realised Walcott is on more money than Giroud, a farcical decision if ever there was one. When was the last time Theo influenced a big game in the way Olivier has done so many times, often from the bench? If anybody should be sold it’s Theo Walcott – get him off the wage bill and give the Ox a pay rise; he’s only 23 so has plenty of time to build his game further, whereas Walcott has surely not reached the potential of a 110k a week player, even with today’s inflated wages.

  • porter

    He’s only now reaching maturity, it would be folly to let him go having done the development.Kind of like baking a cake ,we have done the mixing ,set the oven for an hour but would be taking it out after 30-minutes.Just like the idea of selling him now it would be half baked.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Watch out as The Ox seems to be the player to hate with some fans. Ramsey winning us 2 FA cups is now a bit silly to be targeted so they had to find a new victim. The Ox seems to have won the online poll…..

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Selling Oxchambo by Arsenal to Chelsea this summer will not be a mistake imo if Arsenal sell him at today’s market price value, and use the proceeds from the sale judiciously to either fund the transfer of Thomas Lemar to Arsenal this summer or do a Diego Costa player swap plus cash transfer business with Chelsea.

    The issue of Le Prof guaranteeing the OX a central midfield and starting role before he puts pen to paper to extend his contract at Arsenal does not arise and shouldn’t have arisen in the first place. For, it’s the manager that decides the position he wants his player to operate from on the field of play and not for player to decide it, more so, if the player is not a specialist striker. And again, it is the player’s consistent high performance footballing that can guarantee him a starting role, more especially if he scores or provide assist regularly and not his wish to be starting regularly.

    For the higher wage the Ox could earn at Chelsea in a five deal in comparison to the lower wage Arsenal will offer him even if he extends his stay with them, and couple with the incentive of playing in the Ucl next, the Ox may sign for Chelsea this summer if Arsenal did not block it. But blocking it if they will make good money of it and are not ready to offer him they wage Chelsea will pay him but only in the long run to lose him for free in a season time? Will that be a good business decision taken by Arsenal. The reason why Arsenal have refused to let go Sanchez is because he is top regular many goals scorer and provider of goals scored for Arsenal. But the Ox is not like him.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Selling Oxchambo by Arsenal to Chelsea this summer will not be a mistake imo if Arsenal sell him at today’s market price value, and use the proceeds from the sale judiciously to either fund the transfer of Thomas Lemar to Arsenal this summer or do a Diego Costa player swap plus cash transfer business with Chelsea.

    The issue of Le Prof guaranteeing the OX a central midfield and starting role before he puts pen to paper to extend his contract at Arsenal does not arise and shouldn’t have arisen in the first place. For, it’s the manager that decides the position he wants his player to operate from on the field of play and not for player to decide it, more so, if the player is not a specialist striker. And again, it is the player’s consistent high performance footballing that can guarantee him a starting role, more especially if he scores or provide assist regularly and not his wish to be starting regularly.

    For the higher wage the Ox could earn at Chelsea in a five deal in comparison to the lower wage Arsenal will offer him even if he extends his stay with them, and couple with the incentive of playing in the Ucl next season, the Ox may sign for Chelsea this summer if Arsenal did not block it. But why block it if they will make good money out of it and are not ready to offer him the wage Chelsea will pay him but only in the long run to lose him for free in a season time? Will that be a good business decision taken by Arsenal? The reason why Arsenal have refused to let go Sanchez is because he is a top regular many goals scorer and provider of goals scored for Arsenal. But the Ox is not like him.

  • finsbury

    Andy,

    ‘the young man is a bit misguided’

    You know who is agent is right? This boondangle was always going to happen after he cashed his chips in on the lesser talent of Sterling. He’s hungry, make no mistake about it.

    What are we to make of the blaggers and experts out there calling for the player to be sold for over a season now? Do players who impress in the England shirt unlike the Sterlings etc, do they grow on trees? Are they insane? Are they friends with his agent? It’s a fair and reasonable question.

  • finsbury

    < his agent

  • Gord

    OT: Officials making the news

    Any bet that Ryan Atkin never gets to be an EPL official while 😈 Mike Riley runs PGMO?

    http://www.marca.com/en/football/international-football/2017/08/10/598c6134ca47413d0d8b45a3.html

  • OlegYch

    where is this ‘ox wants to play centrally’ crap coming from?
    he only played there one or two games for Arsenal (not badly, but not great either), and another for England (utterly disappointing)
    every time he tried to play there in previous seasons he would give away the ball easily and have low pass success rate, so why the hell he would insist on it?
    i suspect it’s just more of the same from media, a cheap jibe at Arsene, dating back to the days of Ozil being deployed on the wing (with Wilshere/Ramsey/Cazorla playing in the centre)

  • Ron de jonge

    Strange piece, worst season on the job? dead wood? Bring more players in? Just some loose remarks that the clickbait sites are so fond of…
    Please stick to the content and leave the hollow phrases where they belong.

  • Andy Mack

    Oleg,
    Ox has stated many times that he wants to play CMF.
    I’m pretty certain the manager has said that as well.

  • OlegYch

    Andy, i couldn’t find anything but Keown words from 2004
    Arsene indeed said a couple of times that Ox might play there
    the only thing from Ox himself was ‘I always wanted to be Stevie G’ joke in flash interview

  • OlegYch

    *2014

  • Chris

    Guys,

    all this talk is based on the fact that rumours are right.
    I can’t remember seing the Ox stating all that is being said about his intentions.
    To me it is for the time being all blabla and destabilization.
    The one thing I believe, and from his point of view that makes sense, is that he wants a rise.
    And rightly so, considering the market : he is british, he is multi-talented, he’s got talent and is now a seasoned gunner.
    So he is – or his agent – trying to get the best deal.

    The rest is just fake news, the usual crap like Bellerin’s Barça DNA.
    And frankly, considering the amounts proposed, I don’t see Arsenal selling him to a PL club

  • OlegYch

    Crhis, right on

  • The notion of a player with a top club being told that he is guaranteed to start through the season, let alone being told he will start in a particular position, is fairly ludicrous in my observation of football.

    Players lose form, others are injured, so adjustments have to be made. Yes the Ox might find a club that will play him in central midfield as first choice through much of the season, but I suspect that would be a team like Bournemouth or West Brom or Stoke, and if that is what he wants then of course he can go.

    But the suggestion that Chelsea would promise him regular football, or football in a set position, is really unlikely.

    As to the author, I asked the author if he would like his name published and he said no. As Blacksheep says, it is not a piece that reflects my views, but I have always said, if I receive a fairly coherent piece which makes interesting reading I’ll publish it even if I disagree. The only reason we don’t publish more such is because I don’t get offered more such pieces.

  • Andy Mack

    Chris, It is all rumour about why he hasn’t signed a new contract and playing time NOW as CMF may not be an issue. However it isn’t rumour that he does see himself as a CMF (see numerous Ox Interviews on Arsenal Player, such as 29/3/17 – “The Breakdown : Ox Special” and many before then)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain could well be the biggest mistake Arsenal make.’
    Really ?
    Would it be still bigger than selling Alexis Sanchez ? Or RVP ? Or TH 14 ? Or Martin Keown ?
    Would it be a bigger mistake than signing Nelson Vivas, Alberto Méndez ,Kaba Diawara, or even Pål Lydersen ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

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  • Brickfields Gunners

    A TRUE TALE …I think .

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  • Brickfields Gunners

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    If your wife kisses you every time you come home , remember .. its not affection.
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  • John L

    I agree that it would be a very bad idea to sell Ox.

    However, the article reads like standard media speculation, based on the dubious “has been linked with” premise.

    Also, no Arsenal player should be described as “dead wood”

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