According to reports, Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could swap London for the North West this summer.
Arsenal’s 2016/17 season has been a mixed one. There have been some brilliant moments from the likes of Alexis Sánchez, then there were the 10 goals conceded across two legs against Bayern Munich.
One player who has been superb for the Gunners this season is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The England international is never short of confidence and this translates into his style of play. Arsene Wenger has played the Ox in central midfield several times this season with Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey both injured for considerable portions of the campaign.
Chamberlain is very good at carrying the ball and has good ball distribution but lacks the killer instinct which has made Sadio Mané a standout performer this season.
The Telegraph report that the Ox could leave after he has grown frustrated with his supporting role at Arsenal and with only 12 months left on his current contract, his time with Arsenal might be drawing to a close.
“Sources close to the 23-year-old have suggested he needs a fresh challenge with Arsenal yet to offer him a new deal,” reports the paper.
“It now appears that there is little chance that Oxlade-Chamberlain will sign a new contract even if one is offered to him because the club have left it so late and he craves more regular first-team football.”
While Chamberlain would not be the star at Liverpool, he would certainly be guaranteed a larger portion of the spotlight. Although the Reds have players like Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho who could be argued as the club’s most influential performers at times, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum have earned their fair share of plaudits this season too.
Another thing which might please Chamberlain is it’s likely that he wouldn’t need to play in central midfield. Given Liverpool’s shortage of wingers, he would be needed on the flanks but would, of course, be playing second fiddle to Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané which is the reported reason for his discontent.
That being said, Liverpool will have a lot more football to play next season if they can qualify for the Champions League. In that case, a player like Chamberlain as back up to Mané would be perfect as it offers excellent support and experience of Europe’s elite tournament.
This isn’t a rumour that I would get too worried about as it’s too soon for things to be decided but it’s certainly intriguing.