Liverpool Transfer News: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Christian Benteke Rumours

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2016

Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes the shot which deflects off Newcastle United's Argentinian defender Fabricio Coloccini (not pictured) for Arsenal's opening goal in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England, on August 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF  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.        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Liverpool will reportedly face competition from West Ham United if they want to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal at the end of the season.

According to Simon Jones of the MailOnline, the midfielder is a "potential target" for the Hammers should Arsenal decide to cash in on him, with the Reds, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all said to be "monitoring developments" of the player’s situation.

While currently injured, given Arsenal’s surfeit of options in attacking midfield positions, Oxlade-Chamberlain has never established himself as a first-team regular at the Emirates Stadium. Jack Pitt-Brooke of the Independent recently reported that the Gunners will listen to offers this summer.

Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones has credited Liverpool with an interest in the player, although he suggests Oxlade-Chamberlain does not want to leave north London:

While the 22-year-old is extremely popular at the Emirates Stadium, for the sake of his own career, a transfer may be wise.

The midfielder has never shown enough consistency at Arsenal.
The midfielder has never shown enough consistency at Arsenal.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

After all, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been at Arsenal for almost five years now, and while he’ll have learnt plenty from his time working under a manager like Arsene Wenger, he’s not quite at the level many anticipated he would be when he first burst on to the scene. Sporadic appearances in the first team will do little to set that right.

As Football365 noted, even when he’s been drafted into games off the bench lately, Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t been able to make a consistent impression:

The former Southampton man is no longer a raw prospect; he should be desperate to be playing week after week, becoming a key man for the team and getting better. At Arsenal, that’s a process that seems to have stalled; and for a club like Liverpool, who could definitely do with a direct presence on the flanks, Oxlade-Chamberlain could potentially be a savvy signing.


Christian Benteke to get Reds Reprieve

EXETER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08:  Christian Benteke of Liverpool arrives prior to the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Exeter City and Liverpool at St James Park on January 8, 2016 in Exeter, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

According to David Maddock and Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool striker Christian Benteke has been handed a lifeline by the club after his game-winning showing on Sunday against Crystal Palace.

The burly forward won and then converted a last-gasp penalty to help the Reds take three points. It was the high point in what has been a season of woe for the former Aston Villa man, with many doubting whether he possesses the attributes to play up top for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

“Benteke was given the option of leaving in January when there was firm interest from China in the Belgium international, with the Reds able to get their money back on a player who cost £32 [million] last summer,” it’s reported. “Yet he insisted he wasn’t interested, and instead vowed to fight for his place, despite only a handful of Premier League minutes since being axed in December.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates victory with winning goalscorer Christian Benteke of Liverpool after the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on March 6, 2016 in Lond
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As we can see courtesy of the Match of the Day Twitter feed, Benteke’s goal at Selhurst Park on Sunday was a long time coming:

While Klopp will be keen to see the forward succeed at Anfield, one brief appearance is unlikely to alleviate any doubts he possesses about the player. After all, for much of the season, Benteke has been an uninspiring presence up top, showing little of the dynamism and endeavour the German has preferred when picking centre-forwards throughout his managerial career.

Still, if Liverpool can get Benteke back to the levels he showcased at Aston Villa, they’ll have a formidable forward on their hands. This goal could be the boost the 25-year-old needs to ignite his career on Merseyside, but after such an underwhelming start, he’s got plenty to do before convincing the Anfield faithful.