Should Arsenal cash in on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer?
With Sky Sports reports suggest contract negotiations will begin in the next couple of days, between Arsenal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, over a new contract, would it really be so bad if the Gunners cashed in on the England winger?
Many sides have seen their young talent leave and have still gone from strength to strength, but could the Gunners do the same?
With Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all interested in the 24-year old, and all prepared to pay good money to both Arsenal and ‘The Ox’ it would probably be tempting for the North Londoners to cash in on their asset.
With less than a year left on his contract, Chamberlain would be worth significantly less if Arsenal decided to sell the Englishman in the January transfer window.
With Chelsea reportedly tabling rumoured offers of around £35 million, according to the Mirror, the Gunners could potentially recoup the money that they paid to bring in the seemingly destined to depart Alexis Sanchez.
On the other hand, the former Southampton player has been a fan favourite at the Emirates of late, and on numerous occasion was one of Arsenal’s outstanding players last season.
Many Gooners will recall Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lung bursting run and inch-perfect cross for Olivier Giroud to head home a late equaliser against Manchester United, in front of a stunned Old Trafford.
Many of the Arsenal faithful will also recall his long-range strike against Chelsea, in the traditional season’s opener, The Community Shield, back in 2015. No doubt about it, on his day, Chamberlain can produce moments of brilliance.
So, with adoration from much of the Emirates’ crowds, why would the England international leave?
Chelsea don’t exactly have a great record of promoting young English talent through their ranks. However, money is surely on the side of Manchester City and Chelsea in their pursuit of Chamberlain.
Arsenal’s failure to strike new deals with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil can be somewhat attributed to the club’s reluctance to pay over the odds and break what is a fairly tight wage structure.
Game time seems to be a sticking point in ‘The Ox’s’ contract negotiations. Despite being one of Arsenal’s most impressive players last season, the England international found his playing time fairly limited and although he appeared in 29 Premier League fixtures for the club, very few of these were in a starting role.
Aside from a starting role, Chamberlain has also found himself on a whirlwind tour of playing positions in the Arsenal line-up.
Joining the Gunners as a winger, he has found himself playing as an attacking midfielder, a holding midfielder and now even a wing-back, as Wenger seems determined to accommodate the Englishman with the renewed fear of losing the player. A
rsenal’s number 15 has so far completed the full 90 in both of the Londoners’ opening Premier League fixtures, but there will be many questioning how long he will sustain this run of favour under Wenger.
The Telegraph reported this week, that it “remains unlikely to sign a new contract at Arsenal” and it may well be that the opportunity to experience pastures will be too attractive for the midfielder to turn down.
Arsenal may yet also decide that they cannot afford to lose a player of his quality on a free. Whilst the Emirates faithful will hope their adoration will be enough to keep him from walking out the door, the potential of earning more whilst potentially increasing his chances of starting for his country may prove too alluring for Chamberlain.