Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of the rare bright spots for Arsenal during recent weeks, but he will have only a year left on his contract in the summer and there will be clubs monitoring his situation. The Mirror report that Everton are ready to compete with Manchester City for his signature and that is a concerning development for Arsenal fans. The Toffees will allow Ronald Koeman to continue his overhaul of the squad, while Manchester City will be looking to add more British players to their squad and the 23-year-old fits the bill for both.
It is going to be an interesting summer for Arsenal as several key figures could be set to leave the club. If Arsene Wenger leaves as many expect him to, then there will be a major rebuilding job for whoever takes over. Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Kieran Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain could all depart, leaving significant gaps within the squad. Considering the improvement in the winger’s game in recent months coupled with his passion on the field, it would be a major blow to lose him. At the age of 23, he will only get better over the coming seasons and the Gunners need to make securing his future one of their priorities.
The England international was one of the more impressive performers on Monday night against non-league Sutton United. He came off the bench for the second half causing a lot of problems with his pace and ability to beat players. Although it was against lesser opposition, it highlighted the confidence that is exuding from the midfielder’s game. After the game, he talked about how it was an occasion that the Arsenal players were looking forward to.
“Obviously it was something certain players haven’t seen in England yet,”
“I don’t think Alexis has experienced a game like that in a place like this! Everyone was really excited and looking forward to it. It’s obviously different to what we’re used to and it was another challenge for us to get our heads around.”
This is a good attitude to have and it showed on Monday. The Premier League team worked hard and didn’t take anything for granted. They also showed a great deal of respect to Sutton United and chose not to blow their non-league opposition away, which was a classy move from the Gunners. There will be some supporters that will have wanted more goals, but Arsenal did what was required and they will have learned a lot from the experience.
Finally, a potential replacement for Arsene Wenger has delayed new contract talks with his current club until the summer. Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli has refused to sign a new deal until after the current season has finished, which has put Arsenal and Barcelona on alert. The former Chile boss is one of the most in-demand coaches in football at the moment and with his release clause standing at £1.35 million, it is easy to see why Sevilla want to give him a new contract.
The 56-year-old plays an exciting brand of football and has achieved a lot of success in recent seasons. He guided Chile to their first ever Copa America before taking over at Sevilla. Since he took the job, Sevilla have stepped up to the next level and are now challenging in the upper echelons of La Liga. They are currently third in the league and hot favourites to beat Leicester City to qualify for the quarter-final stage of the Champions League. He would be one of the better choices to replace Wenger in the summer if the Frenchman leaves.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal