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27th Jun 2017

There’s something not right about the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool rumours

Time to call bullshit

Robert Redmond

Liverpool have “launched a transfer bid” for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, apparently.

According to The Mirror, Liverpool “have made their move” for the Arsenal squad player, but the Gunners have “rebuffed” their initial offer. Apparently, Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is out of contract in 12 months.

The report claims Liverpool are willing to pay £25m for the England international. That’s £25m for an Arsenal squad player who wouldn’t be good enough to be a first-choice ahead of any current Liverpool player.

However, according to The Express, that figure is wrong – Liverpool are actually willing to pay £40m for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Even with transfer fees becoming increasingly inflated, why would Klopp spend £25m on a player who could be available for nothing next summer, never mind £40m?

Liverpool have just broken their transfer record to sign Mohamed Salah from Roma for £36m. Salah scored 15 goals, and made 11 assists last season, and was worth the outlay. He’s a fast, skilful and creative winger, who can also play centrally, and his pace will be essential for Klopp’s side, who struggled without Sadio Mane last season. He’s also proved himself in one of Europe’s top leagues and in the Champions League.

The Egyptian cost a lot of money, but like Mane before him, people probably won’t be talking about the fee in a year’s time. It’s easy to see why the club forked out so much to get him. It’s not so easy to understand why Liverpool would be interested in Oxlade-Chamberlain, and especially not for the figures quoted.

The 23-year-old is talented, but he’s about to go begin his seventh season as an Arsenal player and he’s still not a regular starter. He has made 129 league appearances, 64 of which were as a substitute, and has scored nine goals and made 14 assists. So, Salah was directly involved in more goals last season than Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in his entire Premier League career.  The winger/central midfielder/wing-back is a utility player. How the hell does this equate to him costing £25m, never mind £40m, when he’s out of contract in a year?

Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a decent signing for Liverpool next year on a free transfer, or for a cut-price fee to reflect the fact he’ll be a free agent in a year. Even the club that spent £35m on Andy Carroll surely wouldn’t be prepared to pay so much for a player who, if everyone was fit, wouldn’t be in Klopp’s strongest team.

Maybe there’s some truth in the story, maybe the Liverpool manager is a long-time fan of Oxlade-Chamberlain. Maybe Arsenal did actually reject a £25m bid for a player who isn’t first-choice and could leave for nothing in a year. Maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain will go on to be a legend at Liverpool, or Manchester City or Chelsea, the other clubs reportedly interested in him.

Or maybe a quote from The Mirror report explains why the player is getting linked with a move to Liverpool:

“Oxlade-Chamberlain has one year left on his current deal and while discussions about an extension has begun, there has not been much progress.”

In other words, the player’s agent wants to make it seem as though other clubs are interested to force Arsenal to get a move on and wrap up the deal.

Or, maybe Liverpool are actually going to pay more for an Arsenal squad player than they did on Luis Suarez.