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Oxlade-Chamberlain Reportedly on Saints' Radar
Monday, Feb. 1
According to Daniel Cutts of the Sun, Saints will seek to get a shock last-minute switch over the line, with the England international not a regular starter at the Emirates Stadium. Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011.
So far this season the 22-year-old has made a meagre seven Premier League starts for the Gunners and has also been deployed in a host of different positions on the field. As of yet, he’s failed to register a single goal or assist too.
As Amy Lawrence of the Guardian noted recently, although Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have the trust of manager Arsene Wenger, at this juncture he’s not quite showing his best:
Also generally was interesting to see/hear Wenger trust Oxlade-Chamberlain in central midfield. He's had such a strange season.— Amy Lawrence (@amylawrence71) January 17, 2016
While the youngster has impressed in bursts since his move from Southampton, there’s never been a spell in which he’s nailed down a prolonged position in the side.
Granted, Arsenal do possess a surfeit of attacking talent, with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott all vying for similar positions in the XI. Coupled with that, when Oxlade-Chamberlain has been handed starts as of late, he’s not really impressed.
Against Stoke City recently he was played as a central midfielder and as this graphic from Squawka Football illustrated in earnest, the former Saints man failed to make much of an impact on proceedings:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's chances created map vs. Stoke. Hasn't flourished in the No.10 role. pic.twitter.com/tBQYOsUxiT— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 17, 2016
Despite his lack of game time, it’d be a huge surprise to see any deal go through for Oxlade-Chamberlain. Of course, he’d be guaranteed more minutes at his former side, and the prospect of being a key part of the team is something which may appeal to the Arsenal man, at least on a temporary basis.
However, his energy, enthusiasm, versatility and quality make Oxlade-Chamberlain a very important member of this Arsenal squad. Losing him now, with so little time to draft in a replacement, is surely not a gamble the Gunners would be willing to take.