Arsene Wenger has made it perfectly clear that he wants to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal this summer.

  • Oxlade-Chamberlain wants guarantees over playing time
  • He has 38 appearances this season, averaging just 54 minutes per game
  • Ox has 6 goals and 8 assists

The Ox spoke earlier in the season about his future with his contract due to expire in 2018. During an interview on Goals on Sunday, alongside his father, he said he would assess his future in the summer if he wasn’t playing regularly.

Since then, he has played, but the rumours about him leaving have not subsided. With less than 18 months on his contract and Jose Mourinho a massive admirer of the 23-year-old, Wenger is laying the groundwork to get the Ox to renew with Arsenal.

“I personally think it is vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “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.

“He can lose balls but 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.

“When I didn’t play Ozil I had to find a combination with Alex in central midfield. 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.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.