A deadline day dominated by Pep Guardiola and Mathieu Debuchy could become a little more interesting, but probably won’t, with the rumour that Southampton are bidding for an Arsenal man.
According to the Sun, the Saints are interested in taking their former winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on loan until the end of the season. The 22-year-old has struggled for form this season despite making 29 Arsenal appearances. He left Southampton for north London back in 2011 in a £12m deal, surely he isn’t on his way back?
The emergence of Joel Campbell has seen Ox fall further down the pecking order, while the returns of Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck will only see him really struggling for minutes. With Euro 2016 coming up he’ll want to prove himself, but that isn’t Arsène Wenger’s issue.
Arsenal are in the middle of a title race and can’t rely on the fitness of a number of players who are fit right now such as Theo Walcott, and those close to returning (Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are yet to appear this season). Losing Ox would be silly at this point. Serge Gnabry is set to return from his loan at West Brom but will be sent out again, and the Gunners lost Tomas Rosicky to injury at the weekend.
It isn’t that Ox is crucial to Wenger for the time being, but that he could be if we lost one or two key players with the fixtures coming thick and fast.
Lucky then, that this seems to be the accepted stance on the story:
— Mark Bryans (@MarkyBryans) February 1, 2016