Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career has been stifled somewhat, with injuries and poor performances keeping him out of the team. He’s been heavily linked with a move back to Southampton this summer, and Saints legend Matt Le Tissier believes he could resurrect his career with the South Coast club, as reported by the Mirror.
The Ox has all the physical attributes required to be a world class player, and he’s shown glimpses of unbelievable quality during his time at Arsenal. He hasn’t progressed the way we’d all hoped though, and his complete lack of end product is a real concern.
Le Tissier believes he should make a small step down in order to secure regular football with Southampton, and talked up the quality of the young Arsenal star.
“He’s a very good player,” Le Tissier said.
“He’s obviously suffered with injuries in the last couple of seasons so he’s not really been a regular in that Arsenal side.
“If the boy wants to play regular first team football and be a first choice in the team then sure it’s realistic, it’s not like he’d be dropping down to the bottom half of the table.
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“He could join a team that are challenging for European places. OK, it’s not the Champions League at the moment but we’ve certainly challenged for Europa League places over the past three seasons.
“It’s not as big a drop as it might have been a couple of years ago.”
At 22-years-old he’s still young with plenty of time to improve, but he still should be further on in his development at this point. A lot of his issues seem to stem from confidence and mental failings, so regular first team football could do him some good, but we certainly don’t want to lose him permanently. A loan spell with Southampton could be a good move for all parties, but it’s unclear whether Arsene Wenger, Ronald Koeman, or the Ox himself would be happy with that.
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With the potential he has, we could really end up regretting it if we sold him this summer. There are many Arsenal fans who have totally lost faith in the Ox – with the likes of Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi arguably overtaking him in the pecking order recently – but after spending £12m on a teenage Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011, if we were to sell him now and he blossomed into a top player, it would be a real blow.