There have been quite a few Arsenal transfer rumours in recent weeks about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the likelihood of the England international star leaving Arsenal in the summer for pastures new. West Ham were mentioned as a possible destination for the young player and it was even said that he had been offered to them.
Other clubs have been mentioned as well, and it was no surprise to see that his former club Southampton were among them and now one of their current players has admitted that he has been trying to persuade the Ox to go back to St. Mary’s in the summer.
The current captain of the Saints is Jose Fonte and he played with the Arsenal man when they were both at the academy there. The two are still close friends and so Fonte has used that friendship to bend Chamberlain’s ear about going back, as a Daily Mail report reveals. From that insider knowledge, however, we now learn that the Ox is not planning to go anywhere and is perfectly happy to stay at Arsenal and you would think he would know if his time with us was up.
Fonte said, ‘I know Chambo from Southampton. We played together when he was only 15 or 16. So I’ve known him for a long time.
‘I know how good he is. And I’m not going to lie – we talked about it. I asked him, I spoke to him. I’m good friends with him. I want the best for him. But what can I say? He’s an Arsenal player.’
‘He’s happy there. He has the quality to be a star player at Arsenal, no doubt about it. But what I mean is we would love to have him back. Of course we would! If we want to put out a team to fight for trophies, to fight in European competitions, why not?
‘But it’s up to him. He knows he has a place in our hearts and he knows that any time he wants a place in Southampton he has it. We are going in the right path. We want to achieve better and bigger things. So it’s up to him.’
Chamberlain has come in for an increasing amount of criticism in the last year or two and even when fit he is not a first choice starter for Wenger so I assumed he would be high on the list of players that might leave Arsenal this summer. Fonte appears to have proved this wrong though, so which Arsenal stars are set for the axe from the boss? How many and which ones would you get rid of?