Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he’s desperate for midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to commit his future to the club with the English international approaching the final 12 months of his contract. Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed for the Gunners this season but wants to be a first-team regular as he turns 24 in August.
Reports have suggested that he’s the subject of a lot of interest given his strengths in central midfield, and his manager said it’s “vital” the club do everything in their power to keep him. “I personally think it is vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal. We bought him when he was very young, we have built him up and I think he has a great mentality and a good football brain. It would be a big damage for us to lose this kind of player,” said Wenger.
An effective box-to-box player, Oxlade-Chamberlain can bring the ball from deep and into the final third with his high dribble success rate, while boasting fantastic industry to provide the necessary defensive protection at the heart of the midfield too. “Defensively he is strong in the challenge when he wants to switch on. He has that kind of robustness to deal with body-to-body which is very important in the Premier League,” added the Arsenal boss.
“He is offensive and you can see as well he is a guy who can get out of pressure. He has a dribbling skill and acceleration that can get you out of pressure. He can penetrate, and in midfield that is important. I felt as well sometimes on the flank he is out of the game but in the middle he is more focused. He needs to be involved in the game.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 24 Premier League appearances this season, starting only 12, but could be brought back into the XI for Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park. Arsenal are 4/5 to win against Crystal Palace. But will the Gunners keep Oxlade-Chamberlain past next summer?