If we are to believe the latest reports, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will turn down a contract offer worth £180k-per-week from Arsenal, showing that despite his image of being a true Arsenal fan, he’s just like all the rest.
Of course, we shouldn’t begrudge people the right to earn whatever they can. A footballer’s career is short, but in the case of the Ox, he most certainly owes Arsenal and it’s not as if the club are keeping him on poverty wages.
Since arriving six years ago, he has been plagued by injury. In fact, he’s missed what amounts to FOUR full Premier League campaigns through a variety of injuries. During that time he was quite happy to collect his £65k-per-week despite doing nothing to earn it. Now, after one relatively injury-free campaign, he thinks he’s too good for Arsenal and worth more than treble his wages.
Just what on earth could have given him that idea?
It’s not as if over the course of last season the Ox ripped up the Premier League to demonstrate that he’s one of the best players in the country. In fact, if you compare his Premier League season to Alex Iwobi, whom many agree stunk up the place, the Ox scored fewer goals and played only one more key pass than the Nigerian (Ox played over 100 minutes more). If you compare their ability to retain possession, then Iwobi makes the Ox look like a total liability.
This season, in two Premier League games, he’s played five key passes – 50% of Mesut Ozil’s total, a player who is supposed to be uninterested and lazy – scored none, assisted none, maintained a pass completion rate in the low 80s, lost twice as many tackles as Ozil, and taken nine shots, only three of which have found their target.
There’s no doubt that the Ox we are seeing this summer is completely different to the one we came to know and love. He’s certainly had his head turned, whether that’s by his agent or the lifestyle he sees his popstar girlfriend enjoy.
He’s not worth £180k-per-week no matter what way you cut it. I’d far rather Arsenal took £35m for him and used that money to buy a player who can average above 83% pass completion for a season and knows how to keep the ball inside the stadium when crossing.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has done nothing to demonstrate that he’s worth so much money and I’ll be furious if Arsenal do actually agree a deal worth £180k-a-week to keep him.