On Wednesday it was announced that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would miss the entirety of the 18/19 season with the knee injury he picked up last season against Roma.
The player and club admitted that they knew the extent of the damage shortly after the injury happened but didn’t want to say anything lest it distracted Liverpool from not winning the Champions League or England from not winning the World Cup.
I feel inclined to mention this here because since the Ox moved to Liverpool we’ve had to listen to a lot of rambling about how he was not given a proper chance at Arsenal, not played enough or given enough minutes and that he has blossomed since moving north to work under Jurgen Klopp.
Three goals and seven assists in 32 league appearances (1,483 minutes) for Liverpool last season doesn’t seem to me to be a much better return than the two goals and seven assists he got with Arsenal the season before in 1,562 minutes. But what do I know, eh?
The problem now for the Ox is his history with knee injuries. To be fair, that’s always been his problem.
During his six years with Arsenal, the Ox suffered 11 different injuries, ruling him out of a total of 154 games. Arsenal wanting to see if he would recover from the two major two knee injuries that ruined 2016 for the player before throwing hundreds of thousands per week at him seemed prudent, as I said it was at the time. Now it seems smart.
The Ox’s camp were said to be unhappy with how Arsenal handled contract negotiations however I’m sure Arsenal were frustrated that the forward missed what amounted to four full seasons in just six years because of injury.
But sure, let’s talk about how Arsenal ruined him rather than how many other clubs would have binned him long before last summer because of his injury issues.
I am, of course, gutted for the Ox. He seems like a really nice chap who deserves a period without injury to really show what he can do.
It will be that, not his removal from Arsenal, that will determine what sort of player he goes on to be.