It has been revealed that Arsenal were interested in selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the summer. The midfielder has just a couple of years left on his contract but was reluctant to leave the club during the off-season (via The Independent).
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for Arsenal way back in 2011 for a fee worth around £12 million. The 23-year-old has since made over 150 appearances for the club but his progression as a footballer has been frustratingly slow.
That lack of progress is cited as the reason why Wenger wanted to offload the winger. The Ox is still only showing glimpses of his quality and is a highly inconsistent player. There is an impression that Wenger thinks the Englishman’s days at Arsenal are numbered and was open to offers for the player during the summer.
The offers didn’t come. Perhaps not down to a feeling that Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t good enough, more to his determination to stay at the club. The Independent reports that the former Southampton man is intent on staying at the Emirates and proving his worth to Arsene Wenger.
The Boss seemed aware of the situation during the summer. After The Gunners’ pre-season victory over Chivas Guadalajara – a match which Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in – Wenger had this to say.
“It’s a very important season for him.” Wenger said. “He has been out for a long, long time.
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“[He gives us] power, penetration. He has it all, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’s difficult what he doesn’t have – that’s why I would like him to get to the level he can go to. Maybe he doesn’t completely believe himself how good he can be and that’s the final step for him.”
It’s a very good assessment of the player by Wenger and sums up how many Arsenal fans feel. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has all the attributes to become an excellent player but he just hasn’t used them to develop into one. As difficult as it may be, perhaps it is time to give The Ox one last chance at proving his value before moving him on next summer.