Is it time for Arsenal to cut ties with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 1” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton back in the summer of 2011 for £15 million, manager Arsene Wenger could not stop praising him. Wenger highlighted his versatility to play as an attacking midfielder, a central midfielder, out wide or left, and outlined his passing ability. At the time it seemed that the Oxlade-Chamberlain would develop into a complete midfielder.

Six years on, and the 23-year-old has still not established himself in the Arsenal first team on a regular basis. The England international has been able to make only 12 starts in the Premier League this season, while during the 2015-16 campaign, he featured in 22 league matches.

Competition for a place in the Arsenal midfield is fierce, and it seems that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a casualty of that. When everyone is fit, the Englishman has to compete with Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny for a place in the Gunners’ midfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s current contract with Arsenal runs until June 2018, but he has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium in the summer transfer window. Manchester United are reportedly interested in the midfielder, and if you look for betting promotions on Paddy Power, then you will find some very interesting odds on Liverpool’s chances to sign him. The question for Arsenal now is whether to sell him in the summer or persevere with him.

Arsenal Vs Burnley” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

Based on recent performances, it would make sense for Arsenal to hand Oxlade-Chamberlain a new contract. The England international midfielder has been deployed in the central midfield position in recent weeks, more due to to necessity than due to Wenger’s choice, and he has done quite well. Back in February, Alexis Sanchez scored both the goals for Arsenal against Hull City in a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium, but it was Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance in central midfield that stood out.

Oxlade-Chamberlain needs regular playing time to progress as a footballer. What the 23-year-old needs is a manager who shows him faith and allows him time to develop. Wenger is that kind of manager, but the Frenchman is under immense pressure to bring success to the Emirates. Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since 2004, and if Wenger remains at the Gunners next season, then he may not be able to allow Oxlade-Chamberlain the time that he deserves.

Emirates Cup – Arsenal v Wolfsburg” (CC BY 2.0) by DSanchez17

The problem with selling Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer transfer window is that Arsenal are only going to make the buying club stronger. Imagine if Manchester United were to sign him. Jose Mourinho would get a young central midfielder who would add more depth to his squad and enhance the Red Devils’ chances of winning the Premier League title in the 2017-18 season.

Arsenal should keep Oxlade-Chamberlain for at least one more season. Even if the Englishman is tempted by offers in the summer, the Gunners should do their best to convince him to remain at the Emirates for the 2017-18 campaign and try to fulfil his potential there.

Updated: March 31, 2017 — 8:38 am


  1. I would prefer arsenal fc hanging unto chamberlain than keeping Theo Walcott.

    1. You know football my man. He is a better product than Walcott, despite being given less faith than Walcott.

  2. I agree. This season Alex has finally shown some of his promise.
    I think he has got his confidence back and should be kept.
    But does he want to stay?

    1. All players are waiting to see if Wenger signs. All Wenger loyalists among the players will ship out if he doesnt and will sign if he does. Sad thought that Giroud, Theo, Ramsey, Coquelin(the same players you wnat to see leave, are the ones who will stay if Wenger stays. Double edged sword. Wenger was agreat man who is messing up his legacy. In Zimbabwe we call his Mugabe, because he refuses to let go of power. A dictator. Pathetic to see his good work murred by the last two-three seasons of his career. The French team needs Wenger more….

  3. Ox used to be similar to Deli Ali
    in terms of his physicality direct
    running and willingness to shoot on sight.
    But like Gnabry Ramsey Girvinho Campbell
    Podolski and now Iwobi the Ox has been stifled
    by the pass the ball to death mentality.
    Ox is not a finesse player and needs
    to be unleashed not muzzled.
    The Gaffer needs to release the hand break.

  4. After the WBA loss Arsene was
    angry aggressive and defiant.
    “I know my future and you will
    soon know as well.
    However in his latest interview Arsene
    was Le Charm offensive par excellence.
    Upbeat and exuding confidence and calm.
    “The team is ready to surge late .
    Ozil and Sanchez will be fine.
    The club is on track.
    My future is assured.
    Let us all focus on the next game.
    No further questions
    Thank you all ” 🙂
    The old buzzard has still got it.

  5. We must keep him He’s been one of our best players in the last couple of months or so .The trouble is we have carried to many prisoners this season as a complete team in my opinion we have performed only once this season o.k. In a couple of others the rest of the matches have been pretty boring lacklustre and very predictable.Fresh ideas needed.

  6. “What the 23-year-old needs is a manager who shows him faith and allows him time to develop. Wenger is that kind of manager..”

    Is he really?

    Everyone here is rambling about how much we have deadwood but didn’t most of the Chelsea players look deadwood last year? Maybe a new manager could work wonders with the likes of OX, Theo, Coquelin etc. Maybe it’s Wenger who can’t improve them further.

    An adept, new manager would probably need 2-3 new players (bear in mind the rebel duo stays) to make this team a title contender. I mean look at what kind of a squad Sir Alex needed to win his last title: a great goalscorer.

    1. As I recall, Sir Alex’ last squad was struggling until they brought in the magic ingredient – Paul Scholes, out of retirement for a swansong season.

    2. Oxlade-Chamberlain has not had his innate talent nurtured at Arsenal over the last 6 years, rather he has been turned into a square peg in a round hole. You can’t make a call on a player’s future as long as you have a dope of a manager ‘Arsene about’ all day long telling anyone who cares to listen how great he is and that the problems would be sorted if the players just bucked up.

      Thought experiment: Just imagine what a tactician like Conte would make of this squad given 3 months. For sure we wouldn’t be talking about dead wood and who to keep or move on, it would all be done for us – as it should be – by a competent manager.

      Another thought experiment: Imagine talking about the players getting committed after 3 months under Simeone’s menacing gaze from the touchline – it wouldn’t be an issue. Competent managers sort out problems. ‘I love Wenger’ Iwobi and ‘I kiss Arsene’s arsene’ Walcott would drop the crap and either shape up (if they are capable) or be shipped out. Job done.

  7. What Alex needs is a manager that will push him to the limit, bring out the best in him. A manager that will break him loose from his mediocrity. A manager that will yell at him ” you think two beautiful run is a enough… You think you are so good that 50 percent is enough.. : ‘Oh, are you giving up now? You’re such a coward. What do you want? To creep under the beautiful, warm shower. Shampoo your hair? To be alone?“‘Or do you want to prove to your fellow players, the fans out there, and me, what you can do?’”

  8. British Players Out.

    Investing in a bunch of mediocre in a highly rated club is so pathetic. At Arsenal tough times are here and tough decisions must be made, i am done celebrating mediocrity and incompetent players who deserve to be playing in spud at best. i read someone comparing Dele Ali to the ox, imagine how far we’ve fallen from our glory days. As far as i am concerned both of them should be team mate at cave hart lane.

    British lads unlike spanish, german and brazilians are highly technical and tactical. many british players of nowadays are not technically sophisticated like the gerrad and lampard of those days. eons ago we had brilliant british lads who are first class resources the likes of cambel and Adams.

    We are Arsenal! we are invisible and we are not spuds.

  9. How many of our players have really lived up to their potential when they were younger? Hardly any if any at all. Why is that? Arsene Wenger. Playing players out of position to shoehorn in Ramsey and Ozil. New manager new lease of life for a number of our players.

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