Lost amidst the talk of Naby Keïta and Virgil van Dijk is the prospect of signing Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 23-year-old only has one one year left on his contract, but after the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea, attempts will be made to extend his stay in North London. Will these talks only serve to make a move to Liverpool more likely?
Gary Jacob is the transfer guru at The Times and indicated that contract negotiations are expected next week. The futures of Arsène Wenger, Mesut Özil, and Alexis Sánchez are yet to be resolved, and while that was not mentioned in the report, Arsenal clearly have a lot of work to do. Özil and Sánchez can walk away for nothing at the end of next season. In fact, they can sign pre-contract agreements in January. Wenger has not yet confirmed whether he will end his association with Arsenal or remain in charge despite becoming an increasingly divisive figure, but it is clear that letting go is hard.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has recently refused to talk about his future, but he's a player that should be of use to Arsenal and of interest to Liverpool. He turns 24 in August and should be entering his peak years with the ability to operate in central midfield or the right flank. Before his latest injury, he shone in an unfamiliar right wing back position as Wenger turned to a back three for the first time as Arsenal manager. Despite Oxlade-Chamberlain’s versatility, he admitted that playing in central midfield is his “main ambition” along with the acceptance that “it's a tricky one to nail me down to one position” considering the attributes he possesses.
Although there may be concerns surrounding his injury history, those who have watched him play regularly know that this is the sort of player who should thrive under Jürgen Klopp. During the worst spells of Arsenal’s season, Oxlade-Chamberlain never hid on the pitch or forgot to recognise the supporters. His verticality, dribbling, skill, energy, physical gifts, work rate, versatility, and talent would make him an interesting addition if a deal can be done.