Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has finally shifted loyalties and has worn the Red of Liverpool. He turned down a £180k a week contract at Arsenal, as he clearly felt his time at the club was up.
Let’s not be harsh on the lad, he was being played out of his position and has suffered to get a consistent run of games. Adding to that, the toxicity that lies in the Arsenal dressing room would influence the decision of any player who seeks a way out of the club.
It was confirmed on BBC Sports and by various other sources that Oxlade-Chamberlain has agreed to join Liverpool. In a deal that stands at about £35 million; it comes as a sucker-punch to the Arsenal faithful as ‘Ox-Champ’ was a fan favourite at the club for his consistent performances and sportsmanship.
What does this mean for Arsenal?
Arsene Wenger might be happy with the deal going through. Oxlade Chamberlain was a squad player, and for someone who does not make the managers starting XI as often; the manager would look at it as a fair deal. However, it leaves Arsenal short of options at the centre of the park.
Has Wenger planned on spending the money he received in this transaction? He should. The lack of squad depth at Arsenal needs to be addressed, else we could be seeing Arsene Wenger’s contract cut short before the end of the season.
As for Liverpool, they look like the happy beneficiaries in this case. Oxlade-Chamberlain is known for his use of pace and quick feet, just the type of player that Klopp likes.
While the front 3 of Liverpool seem to be irreplaceable at the moment, Oxlade Chamberlain could neatly fit into the midfield diamond and can provide an extra dimension in attack.
While he loathed playing at RWB and LWB at Arsenal, he might have learnt quite a lot of defending; making him an asset for Jürgen Klopp. Klopp’s famous ‘Gegenpressing’ demands players who are quick and can successfully retrieve possession.
Overall, Liverpool are the clear winners. Not only have they increased their squad depth by adding a quality midfielder, they have significantly weakened their opponent in doing so.
Ox-Chamberlain is still only 24 years of age and can peak if provided with regular football. Not to mention, he did cause a transfer tussle after heavily impressing with Southampton. It hasn’t quite worked for him at the Emirates, let’s see how well he does at Anfield!