Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has never quite made it as a main man in the Arsenal squad. The youngster was once touted to be England’s next big thing – but his Premier League career has stuttered rather than exploded.
This season more than ever, it appears the Englishman has been relegated to the fringes of Arsene Wenger’s squad – and with just one year left on his contract at the Emirates, we may see the Ox leave the club before the end of the summer. Favourites to sign him? Top flight rivals Liverpool.
According to reports, Jurgen Klopp has made an official approach for the 23-year old, but was told by Arsenal that the player ‘is not for sale’. The bid is rumoured to be in the range of £25-30m. Although the initial approach was rejected, this could well be the start of a bidding war that will possibly see Chamberlain at Anfield.
Because the winger has just one year left on his contract, his future strongly depends on how successful extension talks are with Arsenal. Should they break down and end up in more discontent from Chamberlain, Wenger will be left with a choice. Agree to sell him for a decent fee, or let him go for free at the end of his contract. The latter of which you would assume is not the preferable option.
That being said, Liverpool may well turn their attention elsewhere after reports that they are preparing an incredible £70m bid for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita. It is said that Chamberlain would like to play in the centre should he join the Merseyside club, however Klopp may prefer Keita to take the central slot next season.
Despite playing the most amount of minutes in a season since his arrival at Arsenal in 2011, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lacklustre season is the perfect metaphor for his performances in a red shirt. Scoring just 6 goals in all competitions, there is undoubtedly an argument for his services being more suited elsewhere.
If not Liverpool, where could we see the Ox end up? The most likely option, at 17/20, is the Englishman staying at Arsenal.
Second favourites to capture the 23-year-old are Chelsea and Manchester City, both at 12/1 respectively. According to various news outlets, both are reported to be ‘heavily monitoring’ the situation with Liverpool. If needs be, either club could price Liverpool out of the market by offering Arsenal an offer that they simply cannot refuse...
Chelsea, who will be looking to add depth to their squad ahead of a title-defending season, are looking to capitalise on Arsenal’s failure to pin down the player to a new contract. A bitter blow that would be to their rivals.
Less likely is the idea of Oxlade-Chamberlain at Manchester City. Guardiola’s already has talent on the wings in Sane and Sterling, so the addition of Chamberlain seems far-fetched.
While the prospect of the England winger staying at Arsenal is very much a strong possibility, it is becoming more and more likely that Oxlade Chamberlain will be leaving the Emirates this summer. The longer his contract drama goes on for, the more likely the transfer. At 17/20, the Ox to Liverpool is a solid punt.