Despite having been around for what feels like for ever, the Ox is still only 23 and finds himself with a big decision to make this summer regarding his future.
The first option is of course staying at Arsenal though there is the lingering feeling that he has never quite lived up to his early potential in London. Many would argue that his best performances last season came at wing-back after Arsene Wenger moved to a five at the back system, however the player has always made it clear that he sees himself as someone who would play through the middle more as his career progresses, be that as a central midfielder or as a number 10. Earlier this year he said as much “I think long-term I’d hope that I end up playing more central” he told the press.
The player only managed to start 16 Premier League games last season, but at this stage of his career, needs more regular football if he is to develop as many hope. There are no guarantees that he will get this gametime at Arsenal, with question marks still lingering over what is Arsene Wenger’s best formation. If he resorts to the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 then is Oxlade-Chamberlain going to play ahead of Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott (should they all stay)? Probably not, and with speculation that the ‘gunners’ are also hoping to bring in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, it could push the Ox further into the wilderness.
Nevertheless, Wenger insisted in december that “I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay”.
But should he move on, where could he potentially end up?
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are currently favourites to sign the England international with a fee of £25m being mooted in some quarters. Despite the bad blood between the two sides following Luis Suarez-gate, this currently seems like the most likely move for the player.
The Ox would fit the German’s high energy style of play and he could fill in almost any of the forward roles in the Liverpool side, be it out wide, behind the striker or in a more withdrawn midfield role that Georginio Wijnaldum played to good effect during the campaign just gone.
Liverpool are in need or reinforcements ahead of their Champions League commitments this season. However they are not the only team vying for the Ox’s signature. Pep Guardiola’s City have also been linked with a move for the 23-year-old.
What does the future hold for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.