Arsenal are reportedly willing to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain "as it is thought he has not made enough progress" during his time with the Gunners.
That's according to Jack Pitt-Brooke of the Independent, who reports the Gunners will "listen to offers" for the midfielder if they can make a profit on the £12 million they paid for him in 2011.
The Englishman arrived from Southampton aged just 17 and impressed at the Emirates Stadium thanks to his dribbling, versatility and impressive work rate—with his desire to get forward matched by his willingness to help out at the back.
Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the latter half of last season due to injury and has struggled to show his quality this year with just two goals and as many assists to his name in all competitions. He's suffered a setback on the road to rediscovering his form after picking up an injury in Arsenal's first-leg defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, per Sky Sports:
BREAKING: Arsene Wenger says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out for "a few weeks" with knee injury #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) February 26, 2016
The 22-year-old should have scored against the Catalan giants, but when presented with a chance from close range, he could only send a tame effort at Marc-Andre ter Stegen, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph:
Arsenal have done well so far, but Oxlade-Chemberlain has to score that chance. Real lack of composure— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) February 23, 2016
Indeed, as Squawka Football revealed upon his goal against Bournemouth earlier in February, Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled to make incisive contributions for Arsenal of late:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been directly involved in a Premier League goal for the first time since December 2014. pic.twitter.com/q9RjrnT0vU— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 7, 2016
According to Squawka, he has completed 36 take-ons in 22 Premier League appearances this season but created just 19 chances—indicative of a player who can get to the byline but struggles to produce a consistent end product.
Sports writer Rob Lancaster was critical of the youngster during Arsenal's recent win over Leicester City in the Premier League:
What exactly is an Oxlade-Chamberlain? The dictionary defines it as: "A promising talent who has no real position and flatters to deceive"— Rob Lancaster (@RobLancs79) February 14, 2016
Bleacher Report UK's Jack Lusby is an admirer of the midfielder, though, despite his struggles:
Arsenal want to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. So his progress has stalled a bit, but I think he's a great talent. Take him at #LFC?— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) February 26, 2016
Should Arsenal give Oxlade-Chamberlain more time?
Indeed, though he has perhaps still yet to reach the potential he showed upon his arrival, he is still young and time is firmly on his side.
While it's plain to see his progress has indeed failed to follow the path Arsenal would have hoped, if the Gunners do hope to sell him in the summer, they can probably at least break even on him.
His youth, combined with having played 22 times for England, ensures he can command a healthy fee—just look at Newcastle United signing Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey for around £12 million apiece in January.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has shown in the past he's willing to stick with players long term in a hope they come good—not always for the better, in the case of Mathieu Flamini—so he may well do the same with Oxlade-Chamberlain, particularly as he still has more than two years left on his contract, according to Pitt-Brooke.
Per Colla, the 20-year-old's contract expires this summer and his future is still up in the air.
Aarons has struggled with injury in recent times but has shown glimpses of his exciting talent at St James' Park, so he could be worth a gamble given he'll cost Arsenal nothing.