Alex Oxlade Chamberlain loves to be in the limelight regarding his Arsenal career, but unfortunately for him it’s rarely due to good performances on the pitch!
Whether it’s ‘bantering’ off Carl Jenkinson or Calum Chambers as the Ox would say, or doing his latest stunt for the Arsenal media team, it’s fair to say that Chamberlain brings a lot of smiles to Arsenal football club, but rarely do they come from the pitch.
It’s a topic that’s been debated back and forth for weeks and months now and the big question surrounds whether Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has a future at Arsenal beyond this season? The winger was reportedly placed on the transfer list last summer by the club, with Arsene Wenger seeking out a loan or permanent deal for the Ox. Joel Campbell supposedly took the hit to leave Arsenal instead. It now means that Oxlade Chamberlain seems to have one final season to prove his value as an Arsenal player and if he doesn’t manage to reach the heights expected from him this season, then it seems as if his Arsenal career could be over sooner rather than later.
Since joining in 2011 from Southampton as a teenager, Chamberlain much like his companion Theo Walcott, arrived in North London with plenty of promise. But inconsistency, injures and a lack of development has meant that Ox really hasn’t progressed as expected. The Englishman has shown moments of promise in the past and already this season we have seen glimpses of what he is capable of. But his talents are shown inconsistency and to be a regular at Arsenal he needs to prove he has what it takes on a consistent basis.
It’s come to the point where after five years, Chamberlain is starting to doubt confidence in himself regarding his chances of proceeding forward at Arsenal. The winger now admits that if he isn’t able to become a regular in this team, then he won’t rule out leaving the club in the near future. In a report by the Metro, Chamberlain is quoted saying: ‘I’d be lying if I wasn’t going to sit here and say that it has crossed my mind that I need more game time. As a footballer, you want to play every game. Me being myself, I’m not happy when I’m not playing.
“There is going to come a time in my career, and I think I’m approaching that, when I do need to be getting more regular football, but my focus completely and utterly now is on playing for Arsenal and still trying to break into the team when I get the opportunity. Help out if I have to come off the bench, do what I did yesterday and come on and make a difference.
“There is that in my mind that I do want to get more game time. There comes a time in your career where you have to re-evaluate things and think, “Is that going to be here or elsewhere?”
“I’m not there at the moment, I’m fully focused on this season, playing my part in that. When you get to the end of the season, just like managers do where they re-evaluate their team, players re-evaluate their personal situation, and I’ll do that at the end of the season.’
In my opinion Ox has had more than enough chances to prove himself and although injures have no doubt hindered his progress, his statistical return for a player who is no longer considered a youth prospect, are just simply awful for a player in his position.
Arsenal stuck by fellow winger Theo Walcott after many years of doubt, so perhaps they will do the same for Chamberlain. However in my opinion it doesn’t look promising for the player and given that he was reportedly listed for transfer last summer, perhaps Chamberlain is more than aware that he needs to up his game or face the exit door.