Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Arsenal left laughing as Ox warms the bench

The saga that saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turn down Chelsea to join Liverpool was one of the tales of the transfer window.

The England international left the comfort of Arsenal with dreams of playing as a central midfielder, and had refused to sign a new contract with the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger bought Oxlade-Chamberlain as a fresh-faced teenager, but injuries, inconsistency and his versatility held him back. The former Saint became a jack-of-all, he was the ideal player to have in your squad, but never a sure-fire starter.

Demanding a move away from the Emirates was a brave thing to do. He certainly has faith in his credentials as a central midfielder, which can only be beneficial. Few others have the same faith at the moment, however.


Fee looking more generous as the time goes

For Arsenal, though, the substantial fee – of around £30 million – for a player in the last year of his contract looked very good at the time. It looks even better now.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has played a grand total of 28 minutes in Liverpool’s last three Premier League matches, and was hooked after 64 underwhelming minutes for England on Thursday.

He is living on borrowed time under Gareth Southgate, and Jurgen Klopp’s array of midfield options put him far down the pecking order at his new club.


Poor start to his Liverpool career

While he must have been aware of the competition he faced at Liverpool, his start has been almost as bad as was possible. Let alone hoping to force his way into the middle third, Oxlade-Chamberlain will just be happy to get a start or two at the moment.

With Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette being the only two arrivals, and Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil on course to leave the club for free, Arsenal’s summer window was once again disappointing.

On the other hand, brief positivity can be found in taking such a sum for a player who wanted to leave, with one year on his deal, and who has done nothing to prove Wenger wrong.


Arsenal relieved and thankful

Oxlade-Chamberlain could flourish under Klopp, but Arsenal and Wenger can be thankful that his early struggles have saved them from further criticism.


Written by Sam Cox

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamRCox_

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