Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has raised fear among Arsenal fans by revealing that the speedster would be considering other options at the end of the season.
Although he was quick to pledge his allegiance to his current team promising to help the team reach its ambitions in the current season, his lack of action in the first team could well be a worry for the club concerning the talented youngster, whom Arsenal had signed from Southampton in 2011.
“I love being at Arsenal. It’s a great club, a great team and I have a lot of faith in the team. I just want to keep focusing on that but there is that in my mind where I want to get more game time,” Chamberlain told Sky Sports.
“There comes a time in your career sometimes when you have to re-evaluate and think, ‘Is that going to be here or elsewhere? I’m not there at the moment, I’m fully focused on this season and playing my part,” said Chamberlain.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a guest at Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme along with his father Mark.
Wenger has over the time lost faith in the player and has used him extensively as a substitute this season. Though Chamberlain has shown signs of brilliance in the pre-season, injuries have largely overshadowed the quality of the 23-year old. Like Wilshere, he too is waiting for that particular season, which would kick-start his career successfully.
Chamberlain highlighted his current stage of the career, where regular game time would improve his chances of making it big.
Arsenal are home to many agile wingers, which include the likes of Walcott and Bellerin. There’s no doubt Chamberlain has improved hugely under Wenger’s guardianship, which he might not get at other clubs.
Without revealing much, Chamberlain also said that he has knocked at Wenger’s door regarding his status at the club though he refrained from revealing more. Wenger, however, had remarked in August before the season started that this season was going to be very important for the attacking midfielder. Wenger had acknowledged the importance of the 2016-17 season for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pointing out how he would now like to be cautious with him.
Oxlade debuted for Southampton at 16 years in a 5–0 victory over Huddersfield Town becoming the club’s second youngest ever appearance maker behind Theo Walcott. A very promising career was inhibited by a serious knee injury in a 2–0 home defeat by Barcelona in February 2016.
It was initially expected to prevent him playing for up to eight weeks, but a further injury in May during training prevented his return for the rest of the season, including the Euro 2016 tournament.
Arsenal are playing pretty well at the moment and have managed to do so with a few tactical tweaks. Alexis Sanchez has been deployed up front, which has meant natural strikers, Giroud and summer signing Lucas Perez, have been restricted to the bench as well. With the young gun Alex Iwobi doing pretty well, it’s not a surprise that the Ox is way below the pecking order.
Chamberlain is at an age where he simply has to play to continue his impressive development that he showed in his teenage years. The chance of stagnation is high, so perhaps a loan move, like the club have done with Gnabry and Wilshere, might be the best solution for Chamberlain. The attacker usually puts in five to ten good performances a season which is nowhere near enough, so it’s time to move elsewhere, either temporarily or maybe even permanently.