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22nd Jul 2017

Arsenal fans react with sadness to reports that Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to Chelsea

Chelsea bound

Nooruddean Choudry

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

For a player who is still only 23 years old, with the potential to mature into a very fine player indeed, ‘the Ox’ seems to have around at Arsenal forever. Since joining the club from Southampton in 2011 for around £12-15m, he has become part of the furniture at the Emirates. An integral part of Arsene Wenger’s squad.

But that’s part of the problem. It’s easy to forget how highly the player was rated in his younger days, when some likened his technical skills and bullish barrel-chested physique to that of Wayne Rooney and even Gazza. The strength and confidence of his forays forward and emphatic finishing pointed to huge potential.

Image result for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Since then his star has waned somewhat. A combination of injuries and inconsistent runs in the team have turned him into more of a functional player, or impact option at best. But there is still a sense that there is far more to him, that he has all the tools to become a very special player given the right environment and proper trust.

Alas it now looks as though the winger/midfielder is likely to play out the coming peak years of his career away from Arsenal, with Chelsea his likely destination. Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the final year of his contract, and has informed Wenger that he won’t be signing a new one. After securing Alvaro Morata, signing the Ox is now Chelsea’s main focus.

It has to be said that the former Saints star has received a fair amount of stick from certain quarters of the Gunners’ support in his six seasons at the club, but judging from their reaction to the news he could be off to Stamford Bridge, many feel he has so much more to offer…