Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that a constant groin injury has halted his development this season, despite appearing in 32 games for us this season.
It was hoped that this would be the season that the man nicknamed ‘The Ox’ would kick-on and develop on the undoubted potential we all know he possesses.
However, despite remaining in our first team this season in the Premier League, he only has one goal and one assist to show for his endeavour. In a wide-right position, end product is paramount and Oxlade-Chamberlain realises this but has revealed that playing through pain has hindered his progress.
“Since my long-term knee injury, I have had quite a lot of injuries this year, with a few niggles and groin problems, but I’ve played through all of it and even when I’ve been in discomfort for most of the games, I have been able to manage it. I feel that is holding me back at the moment,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Evening Standard.
Arsene Wenger often said that a “groin inflammation” (via Express) had been troubling the 21-year-old and it is a similar injury to the one which kept him out of the squad which was named for the FA Cup final in May.
When watching Chamberlain, his lack of fitness has been striking ever since he joined the club – issues which might stem deeper than this latest groin problem.
Cast your mind back to the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan and Ox was complaining of cramp before extra-time. Before that, his wonderful display against AC Milan at home a couple of years ago didn’t last the full 90 minutes due to cramp too. Against City a couple of weeks ago, the speedster was withdrawn with around 20 minutes to go and his inability to finish a game of any intensity is striking.
Hopefully the club can get to the bottom of this and the Ox can go on to become the player we know he can be.