Stuart Pearce believes that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to leave Arsenal now if he wants to avoid becoming the next Theo Walcott.
Former England u21 manager, Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce, reckons that the Ox should jump at the chance to leave Arsenal because, at the moment, he’s not meeting expectations and runs the risk of becoming the next Theo Walcott.
“The expectation on both of them, for me, is under what I am expecting,” Pearce, who was capped 78 times for England during his playing career, said.
“I expect both of them to have a bigger impact at both club and international level.
“I’m not sure Theo would be any different, even if he changes clubs now, to what he is at the moment.
“I think that could be different for Oxlade-Chamberlain. I think he needs a new challenge now, and he’s of the age to embrace a new challenge.
“Whether this is the club for him, I don’t know…
“Time will tell – but he needs to move.”
Both Theo and the Ox signed from Southampton as young players with a heap of expectation on their shoulders given the amount of money Arsenal gambled on them.
The Ox was 17, while Theo was 16; the Ox signed for £12m + £3m in add-ons; Theo signed for £5m, which rose to £12m in add-ons.
Both become injury-prone. Neither reached their potential.
However, as Pearce claims, the Ox has only just turned 24 and therefore has the time to salvage his career that perhaps Theo doesn’t at 28.
During his 11 years at Arsenal, Theo has triumphed through brilliant patches before, like clockwork, falling into obscurity and failing to even make the first team.
He’s scored 104 goals in 394 appearances, and assisted 72, which aren’t bad stats, but it’s the random periods of not being able to hit a cow’s a**e with a banjo that prevent him from becoming a truly great player.
Arsenal have reportedly come to an agreement with Chelsea over the Ox’s transfer fee, with the Blues said to be willing to pay £35m. It’s a good deal considering the England international has spent 154 games sidelined and only scored nine Premier League goals in six years in north London.