In what would be a sensational deal, Italian agent Gianluca di Marzio claims that Chelsea and Arsenal are considering a potential swap deal, which would see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain move to Stamford Bridge with Nemanja Matic going the other way.
How do the two compare?
In many ways, they don’t. The most common feature between the two is that both are entering into the final years of their respective contracts, with ongoing talks over new deals for both players looking unlikely to achieve their end goal.
Both play in midfield, but in very different roles. Whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain has adapted to show that he can play in a central midfield role, he is usually a far more offensive player than Matic. Matic provides more defensive steel and protection to his sides, whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain prefers to drive forwards and attack.
The Ox also benefits from having youth on his side, at just 23 years old, while Matic is 28 years old. That may suggest that Chelsea could benefit from a greater resale value if they do agree to a swap.
Would Oxlade-Chamberlain be a good addition for the Blues?
Yes, in that he would add depth to the Chelsea squad. However, it seems unlikely that he would waltz into the Chelsea first team. The former Southampton man has shown that he is more than capable of adapting to a wing-back or a central midfield role alongside his usual position on the wing.
Part of the reason that he is keen to leave Arsenal is thought to be the lack of a regular position and being played out of his preferred position, so it seems that a move to Chelsea may not help to relieve his concerns.
That said, Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a good option for Antonio Conte to have from the bench. Likely to be very close to Victor Moses, if not ahead of him, he could also compete with the likes of Pedro and Willian further forward. It may not be the kind of player Chelsea would want to chase throughout the summer, but if offered, it would be foolish to say no.
Would Matic be a worthwhile signing for Arsene Wenger?
Matic would undoubtedly be an improvement on the likes of Francis Coquelin or Mohamed Elneny, possibly even Granit Xhaka, so it would be hard to say no. With a tough tackling midfielder desperately required, it would seem that Matic could be the ideal candidate to step into the Gunners’ midfield.
With huge Premier League experience on his side, too, and the ability to score unbelievable goals from distance, he would add two valuable attributes to the Arsenal squad. Also adding a bit more fight and grit to the midfield, alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Matic could be key.
However, the likes of Manchester United and Juventus have also been linked, by the Daily Mail, and Wenger may have a tough task on his hands if he is to convince the Serbian that a move to the Emirates would be the best choice for him at this point in his career.
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