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Chelsea Transfer News: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Targeted Amid Eden Hazard Rumours

Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 28, 2015. Arsenal won the game 2-0. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / AFP / ADRIAN DENNIS        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rory MarsdenFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2017

Chelsea are reportedly eyeing Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a replacement for the possibly outgoing Eden Hazard.

According to Shaun Custis in the Sun, the Belgian is to make his decision on whether to stay at Stamford Bridge based on who the Blues' next permanent manager is, and Oxlade-Chamberlain is seen as a potential replacement should Hazard depart.

Bleacher Report's Dean Jones recently predicted that Hazard will leave Chelsea for Real Madrid in 2016:

It is being widely reported that he is unsettled at the club, such as by the Daily Mail.

While the 25-year-old has been poor in the current campaign—he has yet to score a Blues goal in 2015-16, per WhoScored.com—he is still undoubtedly one of Chelsea's key players and deservedly won the Premier League Player of the Season award last term.

If he moves on, Chelsea will need to bring in a big-name star to replace him, and Oxlade-Chamberlain arguably does not fit the bill.

Although the 22-year-old has huge potential, he has not proved his quality on a consistent basis and has struggled to stay fit in the past.

Per Custis, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made more Premier League appearances as a substitute (49) than as a starter (46) during his four-year Arsenal career.

He missed a month of the current campaign with a hamstring injury and has made only six starts in the Premier League, per WhoScored.

As noted by Andrew Mangan on ESPN FC, Oxlade-Chamberlain has " fantastic qualities" but is currently failing to live up to his potential, while he has also not yet found his ideal position and could eventually become a central midfielder.

He would not be a like-for-like replacement for Hazard, and Chelsea would be taking a big risk in bringing him in.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea comes out to warm up before the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on January 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Furthermore, Arsenal would surely be unlikely to sell him to Chelsea, a direct Premier League rival, even if Arsene Wenger runs out of patience with the Englishman.

Just look at the controversy surrounding Ashley Cole's move from Arsenal to Stamford Bridge back in 2006.

If Hazard does leave, Chelsea will need a more-than-adequate replacement, and from what he has shown in his career so far, there is no guarantee that Oxlade-Chamberlain could fill the Belgian's boots.

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