Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is apparently unhappy with his role at Arsenal and is considering his options ahead of this summer’s transfer window, according to The Sun.
We don’t believe this report in the slightest, but it’s doing the rounds at the moment so we’re bringing the story to you.
Mark Irwin of The Sun claims the Ox is fed up of his bit-part role at Arsenal, and believes his lack of playing time could impact his chances of linking up with the England squad for the Euro 2016 Championships this summer.
He is consequently considering his future and has some questions about where he fits into Arsene Wenger’s plans.
While it’s true the 22-year-old has been in and out of the team sporadically and rarely plays the full 90, the manager very clearly has his reasons. His lack of game time isn’t really a mystery, and most Arsenal fans can see Wenger’s thinking.
Chamberlain is an all action type of player; constantly running at the opposition, taking players on, using his pace and power to assert himself, and always looking to create forward momentum. Not only does this make him an excellent substitute, it also means that when he does start he tends to tire quicker than many other players. An exhausted Ox is an ineffective Ox, and we’ve regularly seen him give the ball away through fatigue or a general lack of concentration.
We also have to take into account his form as well as his age, which is obviously going to play a part in the manager’s team selection. Arsenal fans absolutely love Chamberlain, but you’d find very few that would defend his goals and assists record. His end product has really been lacking over the years, and we haven’t seen as much improvement from him as we would have liked. As an attacking midfielder, no matter how well you’re playing you need to offer goals and/or assists, which the young Englishman just hasn’t been doing.
There’s still plenty more to come from him though, and his goal against Bournemouth on the weekend showed us what he has in his locker. Wenger has been nurturing him ever since his signing from Southampton, and will be hopeful that as he matures he will blossom into a top quality player.
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Aside from this report from The Sun, every other sign points to the Ox being more than happy at Arsenal, and it’s difficult to see him wanting to leave. It’s understandable that he’d want more playing time, but he’ll understand that his performances have to warrant it. It would be a real blow to see him leave, so hopefully we’re right and this story is total nonsense.