With rumours once again circulating that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be Liverpool-bound this summer, Arsenal have every right to feel aggrieved.
When the Ox liked a comment on Instagram, which suggested that he’s signing for Liverpool for £28m this summer, the internet exploded.
While the 23-year-old had been previously linked with Jurgen Klopp’s side and had reportedly turned down an £100k-per-week contract extension with Arsenal, the rumours had grown quiet recently after Arsene Wenger insisted that, like Alexis Sanchez, the Ox was staying put despite having less than 12 months on his current deal.
The thought of the Ox leaving, especially for a rival, really irks me. Not just because he would be leaving Arsenal for a club that came ahead of us (by one point) in the league last season, but because surely he owes the club more than that?
Since signing for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011, the Ox has spent 513 days sidelined – that’s over a year. This is after Arsenal took a chance on a young, relatively unproven player and gave the Saints £15m in the process.
Last season, the England international made 45 appearances over all competitions, 29 of which in the Premier League. Since Arsenal signed him, this is the highest amount of league appearances he’s made in one season.
Despite this, Wenger has believed in him and Arsenal have handed him new contracts.
Now that he’s finally staying fit, he reportedly wants to leave. For a rival.
Where’s the loyalty? Is loyalty really completely dead in the modern game?
Here are 10 other players who Arsenal showed loyalty but didn’t show it in return.
1. Robin van Persie
Let’s kick things off with one of most Gooners’ least favourite people.
The Dutch striker spent 330 days out injured while in north London. However, as soon as he’d had the best season of his life, scoring 37 goals and assisting 14, he couldn’t wait to follow that little boy inside of him to rivals, Manchester United.
2. Serge Gnabry
Gnabry is another player who, while not being quite as bad as RvP, ran away from the club that had stuck by him through injury problems.
The 22-year-old was out for 200 days during his four years as an Arsenal player and only made 10 first team appearances.
The German grew impatient with having to wait to magically becoming one of the starting XI and ran off to Werder Bremen.
3. Chris Willock
Willock recently got impatient with waiting for first team football at the age of 19, refused to sign a new deal and signed for Benfica. Despite spending his entire career at Arsenal so far.
4. Emmanuel Adebayor
Wenger called Adebayor personally to convince him to sign from Monaco to Arsenal in 2006, which he did.
The manager consistently defended him against criticism, even from Gooners.
“I know and I can understand the criticism,” Wenger said back in 2009 after a poor performance from the striker in the Champions League semi-final against United.
“But I watched carefully that game [against United] and he put a lot of effort in, more than people think. He was really isolated, we didn’t give him enough support on the night.
“I believe that they [the fans] question his commitment since the summer because he was injured and he hadn’t scored as many goals. But look at his efficiency in the Champions League and it’s impressive. He has scored six goals in eight games [this season].”
Adebayor soon became one of the best strikers in the Premier League but, as Ian Wright revealed in his autobiography, he got too big for his boots and started demanding more money, which Arsenal finally obliged.
Despite this, the next year, Adebayor signed for Manchester City.
He later ended up signing for Spurs.
5. Alex Song
Another player who spent a considerable amount of time in the treatment room.
The midfielder was sidelined for 75 days and was mostly inconsistent on the pitch in the early years. Still, Wenger stood by him and kept him at Arsenal for six years… until he decided to sign for Barcelona.
6. Alexander Hleb
Hleb was injured for 106 days during the three years he was in north London before he decided he would rather play for Barca.
Something tells me he regrets that now…
7. Fran Merida
Although Merida only made eight actual appearances for Arsenal, it was the nature in which he left that really p**sed off fans.
Wenger had been about to loan the midfielder out to Levante but changed his mind because he saw too much quality in the youngster.
Merida then agreed a verbal agreement with Arsenal, with his contract due to expire the next year, but it turned out that Atletico Madrid had been tapping him up and he signed for them instead.
8. Lassana Diarra
Diarra signed from Chelsea in 2007. He was at Arsenal for a grand total of five months before he got impatient and signed for Portsmouth for a reported £5.5m.
He made just seven appearances for the Gunners.
9. Ashley Cole
A childhood Arsenal supporter, you’d have thought that Cashley would have been one of the most loyal Gunners out there, which is perhaps why the betrayal hurt so much.
The defender played for Arsenal from youth level (1997) until 2006 but wanted more money so jumped ship to Chelsea, Arsenal’s rivals.
The England international was apparently ‘trembling with rage’ at the new contract Arsenal, who were in the process of trying to balance finances with the Emirates, offered.
10. William Gallas
Gallas was a loose cannon. No pun intended. In fact, his attitude while at Arsenal stunk.
Yet, Wenger gave him the #10 shirt and publicly defended him.
“He is a guy who is highly committed and sometimes when he goes overboard he can respond like that. He’s an explosive one,” Wenger said nine years ago.
“Because we are young we don’t know exactly how to behave to look really good but we are maybe more genuine. William is not young but he has the commitment of a very young boy, believe me.
“You want people in this job who care.”
He then signed for Spurs in 2010.