What now for injured Arsenal star? by A.H.
The Arsenal and England international midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had to face the news that he was going to be ruled out for the rest of the season after an injury to the medial ligament in his right knee. The injury news also rules him out of going to the European Championships with England this summer. Such news raises the question, will Gunners fans see the Ox in an Arsenal shirt again next season?
The injury news confirmed that Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will be out for six to eight weeks with his fresh injury after recovering from the injury that had kept him out of the frame since the first leg against Barcelona. Many were hoping that the Ox would come back strong for the final few games of the Premier League season in order to attract a place in England’s Euro squad this summer, however overall for Chamberlain it has been yet another highly disappointing season.
Over the past month there have been numerous reports in the media about Chamberlain’s future at Arsenal, with some suggesting that a return to Southampton may be on the cards. It was only last week the Mirror reported that Southampton’s Jose Fonte stated that he had spoken to Chamberlain about a return, with the Saints defender saying “I know how good he is. And I am not going to lie: we talked about it [returning to Southampton].” The pair’s conversation about a return may suggest that perhaps Chamberlain is also considering his future at Arsenal, with Gunner’s officials supposedly looking to ship the midfielder out of the door. Fonte did however also confirm that he believes Chamberlain wants to succeed in North London.
The issue here is that Chamberlain’s progression has really stagnated since he joined the club. He joined Arsenal in 2011 from Southampton in a deal that could rise up to £15 million and although he had an impressive first season, in which he was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, his progression since then has been minimal.
Chamberlain burst onto the scene at Arsenal with strength, pace and tricky control with the ball at his feet. The Ox did seem as if he was going to dominate Arsenal’s wing for many years to come. However, very much like current teammate and also former Saints player Theo Walcott, Chamberlain’s game was originally focused on his pace and he has largely struggled with any final product.
Injury problems over the years have also been a struggle, often ruling him out for large periods of seasons and limiting the Englishman to nothing more than a substitute role. And having featured in over 100 appearances for Arsenal, Chamberlain has only a minimal amount of goals and assists to show for his efforts, with a measly seven goals in the Premier League over five seasons.
Although Chamberlain remains young and has plenty of time to grow and develop at the club, you cannot help but feel his time is slowly beginning to run out at Arsenal and after a few seasons of disappointment, the Gunners may look to cash in this summer. With both Southampton and West Ham supposedly awaiting for Arsenal to make their call over Chamberlain, I feel it is increasingly likely that with squad positions becoming ever more competitive in midfield, that we may see The Ox out on loan at the very least next season.
How do you see his future going? And will it even be with Arsenal at all?