Six reasons why Arsenal should be delighted with selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea
There are plenty of reasons for doom and gloom at Arsenal, but when Sky Sports report that the club have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35 million, they should be delighted. Losing a young English talent is never a good thing, but in this case the Gunners would be perfectly reasonable not to be feeling disheartened. Here’s why:
He doesn’t score
In six years and 198 games, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just 20 goals. For a player who spent most of the early part of his career at the club as an attacking winger, that is a poor return of one in every ten games. Only nine of those have come in the Premier League, compared to 16 for Laurent Koscielny in the same time period.
He doesn’t assist
Again from six years and 198 games, the midfielder has registered 32 assists, with 18 of them coming in the Premier League. That’s an average of one every six games in all competitions, and one every seven in the Premier League. He’s produced only seven more assists than back-up left-back Kieran Gibbs in that time.
He hasn’t improved as much as expected
A controversial one and hard to measure, but when signed as an 18-year-old in 2011, big things were expected of the former Southampton man. He’s never really lived up to expectations though, and has never made the breakthrough to become a regular or key first team player for the Gunners.
He still doesn’t know his best position
Last season, Oxlade-Chamberlain played as an attacking winger, a central midfielder and a wing-back. Even this season, he has played on both flanks already in just three games. It’s clear that neither he nor Arsene Wenger knows best where to deploy him. If they still can’t establish that after six years, then it is a major concern.
His injury record is woeful
Having played 198 games for Arsenal, he has also missed 82 through injury, that’s a rate of one game missed for every two and a half games played. With a number of different issues and having missed both Euro 2016 and the 2014 World Cup with injury concerns, he cannot be relied upon to handle a 50 game season competing on several fronts. At 24 years of age, injuries should be the least of his worries.
£35 million is a brilliant fee
With only 10 months left on his contract and it clear that Oxlade-Chamberlain had no intention of staying at the Emirates, £35 million for a utility player represents great business for the Gunners. He’ll likely be replaced at left-wing-back by Sead Kolasinac, who Arsenal picked up on a free transfer and has made an immediate impact. Textbook net spend optimisation tactics by Arsene Wenger.
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