While it’s looking increasingly likely that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will stay at Arsenal, when he was linked with Liverpool, it was suggested that he could cost Jurgen Klopp’s side up to £40m – is he worth it?
Arsenal are reportedly set to tie the Ox down to a new long-term deal this week, which will see him get paid £100k-per-week.
At the moment, the 23-year-old is apparently paid around £65k-per-week, so a £35k increase isn’t bad. It’ll reportedly put him at just £10k less a week than his teammate, Aaron Ramsey, who’s three years his senior, so this also makes sense.
Although Rambo is due a contract extension himself soon.
All things considered, I doubt many people would have any objections over his wages.
However, when the Ox was linked with a move to Liverpool that would allegedly set the Reds back £35m, which later increased to £40m, the Merseyside fans weren’t convinced.
In fact, the only reason his supposed transfer fee would have been so high, Liverpool fans claim, is because he’s an England international.
Do they have a point? Let’s take a look.
Arsenal bought the Ox from Southampton in 2011 for a reported £12m, which rose to £15m in add-ons.
The midfielder was just 17 and, at the time, it was a steep fee for an unproven teenager. However, even the Daily Mail reported on his ‘star quality’ and backed him to be brilliant.
However, the Ox’s time at Arsenal didn’t go quite as planned.
Minus last season, he managed just 6,124 minutes in the Premier League over five years without a single loan spell. That’s around just 68 full 90-minute matches or an average of just 47.5 minutes per appearance.
He’s also spent a total of 496 days sidelined through injury, not including last season.
While the Ox does have 25 caps for England, his involvement with the national team has been inconsistent.
Therefore, the sum of £40m does seem high.
However, when you compare this price to the likes of John Stones, who’s the same age, who signed for Manchester City last term and set them back almost £50m, you can understand exactly why Arsenal value him so highly.
Premier League teams need English players to fulfill their quota.
Similarly, Raheem Sterling cost £49m despite being just 20 when he moved from Liverpool to City and having played less than 100 games.
And even more recently, Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford has signed for Everton for £30m!
Is the Ox worth £40m? Probably not. But considering his form last season, as well as the current price that England players are going for, I don’t believe that the Gunners are being completely outlandish by demanding that amount.
Got to love that homegrown rule.