Arsenal reportedly want £35m talent who both Henry and Ian Wright have question marks over
In one of the more surprising transfer stories of the weekend, The Sun has reported that Arsenal are keen on bringing back midfielder, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, from his spell in Liverpool.
The Sun claims that the Gunners are keeping tabs on ‘The Ox’ as they look to strengthen their midfield options once again. Chamberlain, who has 35 caps for England, has seen the likes of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones gazump him in the pecking order at Anfield.
He reportedly has two years remaining on a whopping £125k-a-week deal, but could be willing to move on for more regular game-time.
However, things might not all be smooth sailing at Arsenal for Oxlade-Chamberlain either. During his previous spell with the club, Ian Wright cast doubts on his ability to really control games.
“We have seen Arsene [Wenger] give him a couple of chances in that midfield. I don’t think he is imposing himself as well as he would like to. I think all he needs to do really is get a bit more urgency about him, step it up a bit, sharpen himself up,” Wright said of the midfielder in 2017.
But while Wright’s comments were largely overlooked, the same can’t be said about what Thierry Henry had to say in 2018. Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain even fired back.
Henry unsure on Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal
At the time, Henry – writing for Sky Sports – suggested that he had issues with The Ox at Arsenal, owing to the fact he didn’t have a regular position.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves praise for what he’s done during his short time at Liverpool so far. But we didn’t see that clearly at Arsenal,” Henry wrote.
“My point is if I use the example of Frank Lampard, everybody knew what he was good at. His forte was running from deep – making late runs into the box and scoring goals. And also giving plenty of assists.
“At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position is. One day he was a wing back. One day he was a left winger, one day a right winger and on another a number 10. That was the problem, we just didn’t know.”
Of course, Arsenal and Oxlade-Chamberlain could find themselves in a similar situation again. Even at Liverpool, despite the odd flash, the England man has not cemented a position.
TBR’s View: Arsenal need to be careful
Oxlade-Chamberlain cost the Reds £35m. There’s a strong argument really to say he’s not delivered for that money.
Arsenal need to tread carefully in bringing Oxlade-Chamberlain back. He’s had injuries. He’s still not overcome the issues Henry and Wright pointed out, and he’s a good few years older.
Certainly, a transfer for Edu and Arteta to think deeply about.