Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has told Football London ahead of tomorrow’s game with Liverpool that everyone at the Gunners could see the potential within Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Once a burgeoning winger, the England international left the Emirates Stadium in 2017 joining Liverpool for £35 million (BBC Sport).
At the time, plenty of Arsenal supporters saw the move as a positive one for them, with many believing they could do better than Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Under Jurgen Klopp, however, the 26-year-old has grown as a footballer, adding the Champions League and Premier League titles to his CV of silverware.
Arteta doesn’t believe anyone was in any doubts over his ability at Arsenal.
He told Football London: “We could all see the potential of Alex and where he could develop.
“He picked an incredible club to move to and he wanted a challenge probably after so many years here.
“We have to accept that and I think we all wish him the best because as well as being a great player, I think he was someone who was really, really like here among the fans, the staff and the players.”
During his time at the Emirates Stadium, Oxlade-Chamberlain played 198 games, scoring 20 goals and registering 32 assists.
He claimed three FA Cup winners medals and played alongside Arteta for the Gunners.
Regular football often deserted the ex-Southampton man though with Arsene Wenger often choosing other players ahead of him.
The £120,000-a-week ace has been reborn at Anfield, with Klopp more often than not utilising him in a more central role.
During the 2017/18 campaign, Oxlade-Chamberlain was just beginning to show his critics exactly what he was capable of.
He was instrumental during a 3-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League and netted five goals and claimed eight assists from the campaign.
It ended on a sour note, however, as he picked up a cruciate knee injury during a game against Roma in the Champions League.
That injury ruled him out for just over a year and this season has been a battle for Oxlade-Chamberlain to get into the team.
He is fit and ready to go for tomorrow night if selected and Arteta will hope he isn’t the man to plot his side’s downfall this time around.