The 23-year-old English international has expressed his dissatisfaction at his playing time with Arsenal, having started only 3 games in the Premier League this season.
Appearing on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain has stated he’s willing to move on and explore other options at the end of the season for more game time if the situation at the North London club doesn’t improve, even though he’s fully committed to Arsenal and still wants to break into the first team XI of the club.
In his words, “There comes a time in your career sometimes when you have to re-evaluate and think, ‘Is that going to be here or elsewhere? I would be lying to say it (moving on) hasn’t crossed my mind that I need more game time. As a footballer you want to play every game, and I’m not happy when I’m not playing, as is everyone on the bench. But my focus is completely and utterly on playing for Arsenal and breaking into the team when I get the opportunity.”
This, shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering he’s getting to an age where he would be wanting to start every match, play every single minute and not just be satisfied as a bit-part player at the club. Incredibly, the last time Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the whole 90 mins of a game in the league was way back in January in a stalemate at Stoke.
Arsenal paid £12 million to acquire the services of The Ox from Southampton, then aged only 17, in August 2011. It was a big fee for the teenager at the time but seemed justified given the talent and potential Oxlade-Chamberlain had showcased. However, frequent injuries and inconsistent roles & displays since joining the North London club meant he could never really make a position in the playing XI his own. There are also arguments that the former Southampton youth graduate, once tipped to achieve global stardom, hasn’t improved much since his transfer to the Gunners; certainly not to the extent he was expected to be once.
However, it needs to be added all is not lost for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who at the age of 23 still has time to turn it around and get his career back on track. While he might not be on top of the pecking order at Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger continues to have immense trust in the winger.