Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal’s Contract Debacle: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Set To Walk

Within the space of one week, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly rejected two improved contract offers from Arsenal. Bred and nurtured by the Gunners, could the Portsmouth-born winger break Arsene Wenger’s heart and leave?

At 17 years of age, some players would still be trying to find their feet in their chosen career – not Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. At 17, he had already turned pro and had helped his team (Southampton) win promotion to the Championship. His unusual strength and powerful stature had seen him become one of the most respected teenagers in English football. Some would opine that the Saints never lost a game Oxlade-Chamberlain played in.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see one of the biggest clubs in England (Arsenal) make the Ox one of their top targets. It was an easy steal for the Gunners; Chamberlain just turned 17 and that move was a massive leap in his career, to play for a top Premier League team who play regularly in the Champions League; few kids could turn that down. For Southampton, they couldn’t be happier to see Oxlade-Chamberlain’s back – getting nearly £15 million for a 17-year-old was a bargain to relish.

Six years after making that big move to the team he supported as a boy, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s heart seems to have left the Emirates. His stay at Arsenal cannot be classified as uneventful nor unsuccessful. It was at Arsenal where he became the youngest English goalscorer in Champions League history. He also won some silverware with the club – three FA Cups cannot be counted for nothing.

Why is the Ox stalling?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has never been a first team regular at Arsenal. Through his Arsenal career, he’s always been nothing but an afterthought for Arsene Wenger. It goes without saying that the powerful winger has never started 20 Premier League in a single season for more than half a decade playing football for Arsenal; that says a lot.

Last season, he made 16 Premier League starts as Arsene Wenger tinkered with him as a wingback. In some games, however, the 24-year-old was deployed in attacking midfield where he thrived. Nevertheless, Chamberlain has never reached the prospects envisaged for him while at Southampton. It’s worthy of note that the Ox has never hit double figures in goals in a single season since joining Arsenal; for an attacker, that’s little short of disappointing.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cuts a figure of a player who’s truly fed up of Arsene Wenger. Last season, after suffering another Chelsea defeat at Stamford Bridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain ‘mistakenly’ liked a tweet calling for the sack of the Frenchman.

Perhaps it could’ve been easier convincing Chamberlain to sign a new contract if it were another manager at the helm.

It’s also a possibility that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had his head turned by Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool gaffer has been known to sweet-talk players to join his side; a good example is the transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum, where the Dutchman was wooed away from signing for Spurs by Klopp.

Chamberlain might’ve been tempted by Antonio Conte’s project at Chelsea. The inveiglement of playing Champions League football as well as the opportunity to win more silverware than he would at Arsenal could be a driving force. It’s been reported that the Blues has had a £30 million bid for the 27-cap England international rejected. Although Arsenal cannot hold out for much longer as the Ox could leave for free next year when his contract expires.

Does Chamberlain owe a duty to Arsenal?

“I think we invested a lot of time, confidence and money on players like Alex, who we bought at a young age. For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one of the big English players in the coming years.” – Arsene Wenger

Wenger’s comments simply imply that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be backstabbing Arsenal if he leaves this summer for £30 million+ or for free next summer.

I couldn’t disagree more. In a very short time at the limelight, footballers must make the best decision for their careers. Six years at Arsenal and Chamberlain still isn’t a first team regular, still considered the totem. Wenger’s concerns cannot be far from the cyclopean uncertainty regarding Alexis Sanchez’s contract renewal.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is primed to leave the Gooners, what or who can stop the young man now?

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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