Does Oxlade-Chamberlain have any future at Arsenal?

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has been with the Gunners for over 5 years now after arriving in North London from Southampton as a teenage prospect. But in his time at the club, it’s unfortunate that he hasn’t quite progressed as expected nor hoped.

There have been various reasons behind his lack of impact at Arsenal, largely due to inconsistency as well as injury problems. However besides these factors there’s no debating that the Ox has been poor in his performances and especially regarding his return of goals and assists. For the position that he is often used in as a winger, the Ox simply doesn’t make enough of an impact on the team for such a vital position on the pitch. A winger is expected to contribute highly when it comes to the team scoring goals and assists, but for Oxlade Chamberlain he just doesn’t seem cut out for the job at the moment.

One argument that has been made is that he isn’t at the standard that Arsenal expect from him, but the Ox himself has now come out to say that perhaps he isn’t being played in the right position at Arsenal.
Whilst on international duty with England, Oxlade Chamberlain told the media: “Given the opportunity, I do enjoy playing in central midfield and last week in training with England I was playing more centrally. I really enjoyed that. At the moment, the general dynamic at Arsenal is that we have got a lot of central midfielders who are more specialists in that position and out of that group of players, if you were going to put me in there, I’d be the one who stood out as someone who could play on the wing.

“I see myself more as a winger for Arsenal as a result. Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka, who has just come in, Jack Wilshere, when he’s back, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey, when he’s fit. They are all big players for us and out-and-out central midfielders, so I am more focused on playing wide and adding what I can out there for now.”

Chamberlain is suggesting that perhaps he would prefer to play in the centre of midfield rather than as a winger. The English international has played in both positions, for club and country, although he has been used primarily on the wing at Arsenal.

Although Chamberlain is still in the early years of his career, after five years at Arsenal and little change in his development, time does seem to be running out for the player. Chamberlain is no longer a future prospect at Arsenal, but he is instead supposed to be a established player in the squad now. The issue is that he isn’t exactly performing to the standards that Arsenal set to be regarded as a first team regular and for that reason if Chamberlain doesn’t prove himself, he could soon be facing an exit from the Emirates. It has already been established earlier in the season that Chamberlain was reportedly listed for a transfer away from the club this summer, but instead it was Joel Campbell that left the club on loan.

The other point of discussion is that should he be played as a central midfielder, rather than on the wing? In my opinion Chamberlain has worked well in the centre of midfield in the past and typically the position isn’t so reliant on scoring goals or getting assists. It could therefore be a role that may suit the player well, however it doesn’t solve Chamberlain’s lack of consistency, ability and confidence on the pitch. The other issue is that of course as Chamberlain lists, there are various other players already competing for a place on the pitch, so if he is struggling for game time on the wings, then he isn’t going to get much luck in the middle.

Personally I think that the England international does still have a chance to make it big at Arsenal, but he really needs to put the work in this season to prove that he is ready to make that step up to being a first team regular. Chamberlain has a youth graduate in Alex Iwobi already ahead of him in the pecking order and with Walcott also beginning to shine this season as well, it’s going to be a tough season for the Ox to prove himself to Arsene Wenger.

Will he get the chance?



  1. All footballer with dribbler type from young Ronaldo, young Messi, Robben, Bale to Isco, Hazard, Wilshere or Ox have these same problem : HOW TO PLAY MORE EFFICIENT FOR THE TEAM. Ronaldo and Messi success to transform their earlier style into more efficient form.
    Not just that, Ox should remember that his main duty is to cross the ball for strikers. He cut in or shoot directly only when available. Come on Ox, even Iwobi at his 20 has recognized this.
    Fix his crossing accuracy and defensive tackles first, then he could talk more his about Arsenal future.

  2. We all know that The Ox was full of “potential” but he quickly loses confidence after a couple of mistakes. He is FAR from having any Messi or Ronaldo-like tendencies at the moment and he is probably too old now to improve much further. If e stays at Arsenal I think we can only hope that at some point in his career he has that van Persie moment when he feels invincible. But i’m not holding my breath!

  3. The Ox is a very polite young man which makes him likeable and he shows the occasional flash of awesome which makes it hard to bash him too much. Having said that Joel Campbell has much less flash but so much more product than him. Am sorry but I’ve never understood why he keeps getting picked over.

  4. I love The Ox- unfortunately he has not fulfilled his potential as we all know. I believe it is a confidence thing with The Ox. His main problem is staying fit- I remember him having a run of games I think it was last season and was looking good but got injured and lost his place. This has been the story of his Arsenal career.
    I would love to see The Ox running at the full backs every week because he has the pace and strength to cause havoc in the opposition defence, but just needs a run of games and to stay fit.
    But I see this as his make or break season- Fail to impress this season and I think he will be sold on or sent on loan. There will be no shortage of demand for his services!
    He has done his best for this club and I always see the despair on his face whenever he substituted- I know he loves this club and its culture but it just has not worked out for him.
    I still remember his central midfield performance vs AC Milan in the Champions League, he was AWESOME! Maybe that is his best position but like he said himself there is too much competition for that role in the Arsenal camp.
    I hate to say this but I think for his own good and to get more game time he will have to leave us sadly. I am a great fan of The Ox as he seems a good lad. But hey ho! He can go earn his millions elsewhere!

    1. Yes he may improve as a big fish in a little pond. We could always add in a buy back clause just in case he does suddenly turn into Messi!

  5. he is amazing picking up balls in midfield and dribbling past two or three player but then his finishing lets him down If he could only learn to pass he would be amazing, he must remeber Arsenal plays as a team and Ox looks the lonely wolf

  6. He hasn’t shown the qualities needed. Offensively he has been very inconsistent, and defensively he really is terrible. Theres is no room in our midfield for a player like that. He should work hard on improving his wing play and his defensive play, especially his discipline defensively. Then he could be an improvement for the team. At the moment he isn’t.

  7. 5 years in footballing career is a like 20 years for a normal person. Injuries aside, he’s had plenty of chances, but he never took them. For me, he should have been loaned out, not Joel Campbell. It’s not a nice thing to say, but at the moment he’s my least favorite Gunner, and I don’t like to see him even on the bench, never mind in starting XI. I wish him well in the future, but I just hope that his future lies with another club, not Arsenal.

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