Only days after Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his surprise that rivals like Chelsea and Arsenal hadn’t bought more players, Arsenal officially made their third signing of the summer in Championship starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 17 year old from Southampton officially signed with the Gunners in a deal that cost £12 million with an additional £3 million in add-ons.
This is a great relief to Arsenal’s supporters who have grown angry in recent times with the lack of transfer activity. After months of speculation surrounding the futures of their own players, it must be an absolute pleasure for all Arsenal fans to see that the club is making additions to maintain their status as one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League.
The Southampton winger who in 36 appearances scored 10 goals, will be greatly missed by the Saints. However, the deal was one of the biggest in the history of the Championship and broke all the previous transfer records of Southampton. The Saints will now be able to use the large sum of money from the Chamberlain trade to find suitable replacements in preparation for their return to the championship.
With that being said, it may be a little unreasonable to expect an immediate impact from Chamberlain who will only turn 18 next week. Considering that Chamberlain has never played above League One football, he will need time to continue his development.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain is without doubt one of England’s finest rising footballers and is widely considered the best coming from his age group. No one seems to be more happy than Arsene Wenger who proclaimed, “We are delighted that Alex has decided to join us. “Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. “He can play as an attacking centre midfielder or wide left and right.
“Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”
Wenger must also be happy that Arsenal’s influence was enough to wrestle Chamberlain away from rival clubs that he was linked with like Manchester United and Liverpool. The English star stated that a main incentive in his decision was Wenger’s strong history of developing young players. Chamberlain had long been the subject of possible links with Arsenal and reportedly almost signed with the club back in January but the deal fell through. However, Arsenal got their man who will join Arsenal’s other two signings, defender, Carl Jenkinson and striker, Gervinho.
Frankly, Oxlade-Chamberlain always struck me as a player destined to one day play for Arsenal. The comparisons likening him to Theo Walcott who also came from Southampton will be inevitable. Like Walcott, Chamberlain is known to be an attacking footballer with breathtaking pace who can come up from the wings or up through the middle. He’ll be able to make punishing runs into opponents’ boxes and is regarded as being better than Walcott when it comes to tracking back to play defense.
Overall, the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain will be seen as a major positive this summer for Arsenal. With the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri still in serious doubt and news of injuries to Robin Van Persie, Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen, the signing of Chamberlain is really a breath of fresh air that the club desperately needed. In reaction to his new deal, Chamberlain stated, “Arsenal have a great manager in Arsene Wenger, top-quality players and an attractive style of play.” “These were all important factors in me choosing to sign for Arsenal.”