“Arsenal are ready to hand the attacking midfielder a hefty rise on his current deal, which is worth £52,000-a-week,” wrote Hughes. “But they will stop short of offering the player a deal that will double his wages and lift him on a par with the second bracket of earners at Emirates Stadium.”
The player’s current contract with the Gunners runs until the summer of 2018.
Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly finds himself in an intriguing position at Arsenal. Few would deny the talent which the 22-year-old possesses, but he’s very much a peripheral figure in the Gunners squad, having started just nine Premier League games this season.
However, Chris Moore of World Soccer Talk thinks that the England international has had sufficient chances to prove his worth:
Chris Moore @chrismoore32
If Ox is truly tired of being a bit-part player, then he needs to improve. He's had his chances & hasn't shown consistency #Arsenal2016-2-9 16:33:01
Indeed, the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez, Walcott and Santi Cazorla have been injured for spells this term, and Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t nailed down a spot in the starting XI.
With his energy, dynamism and quality on the ball, he has enough quality to force his way into the Arsenal side.
However, the drive and determination doesn’t quite seem there yet; Oxlade-Chamberlain comes across as an amicable and articulate man off the field, but on it he needs to have more fire in his belly to make it at Arsenal.
As noted by the Match Of The Day Twitter feed, Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to show more on a consistent basis away from the Emirates Stadium too:
Match of the Day @BBCMOTD
That was Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first ever Premier League goal away from home. https://t.co/ZtL1a9QGJ6 #MOTD2 https://t.co/LWPYjOROLj2016-2-7 22:58:35
Players like Koscielny and Walcott are more regular contributors to the first team than the 22-year-old, meaning they can justify such a lucrative salary.
At the moment, Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t quite so key to the club’s fortunes, and subsequently, it’s understandable that they may consider holding off on doubling his pay.
Of course, the club will want to keep the player on board and will still preserve high hopes for him. But it’s getting to the point where Oxlade-Chamberlain can no longer be viewed as a great prospect and needs to be making an impression regularly in Premier League games.
Do that when his chances come around and the Gunners will surely be happy to pay him the kind of numbers aforementioned.