Liverpool Football Club are reportedly considering a very ambitious move this winter with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain topping their wish list with the January transfer on the horizon.
Jürgen Klopp has identified the England international as an ideal addition to his red-hot squad and sees Chamberlain as an ideal temporary replacement for Sadio Mané, who is set to leave Liverpool in January to link up with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. According to The Telegraph, the Reds are considering a bid.
Chamberlain has just 18 months left on his current Arsenal contract and there has been no sign of contract negotiations beginning despite Arsene Wenger insisting he wants the 23-year-old versatile midfielder to sign a new deal and extend his stay with the Gunners.
And according to the Telegraph, Chamberlain has been told very positive things about Jurgen Klopp with England compatriots Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson singing his praises whilst away on England duties.
Arsenal, who have many players with just 18 months left on their contract find themselves in a very sticky position regarding the Ox, they could sell this winter for a fee of around £25 million or risk him not renewing his contract and losing him for free next summer, something the Gunners will be reluctant to let happen.
There is plenty of evidence to show why Klopp is chasing the England man who is also being scouted by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City extensively with contract talks yet to take place. Chamberlain has also scored six goals and provided six assists thus far this season, being his best yet for the club.
But, there is growing frustration from Chamberlain’s side, wanting to seek more regular game time, with himself admitting it is frustrating to continuously be subbed off after the hour mark.
Chamberlain said; “There is that in my mind that I do want to get more game time. There comes a time in your career where you have to re-evaluate things and think, ‘Is that going to be here or elsewhere?’ which is a clear warning to the Arsenal manager.
Liverpool lose their star summer signing Mané in the next week to due international commitments, and as they stand just six points behind Chelsea, they may feel a signing of Chamberlain’s calibre will help them push on to catch and hopefully overtake Chelsea.
The Reds managed to deal with the absence of Philippe Coutinho who is due back imminently, but heading into the crucial part of the season they cannot afford to lose the goals which Mané provides without having a ready-made star to take his slot.
Chamberlain’s versatility is a key attraction to Liverpool, with him having the ability to deploy many midfield positions including on either flank or in an attacking or defensive midfield role with all positions being tested with the Gunners, but yet able to cement a place.
A deal between Arsenal and Liverpool will be extremely difficult to materialise, though. Since the Luis Suarez saga, there is certainly some sour feelings between one and another, with Liverpool reportedly inserting a clause in Roberto Firmino’s contract which stop’s Arsenal signing him for less than £80 million which shows the extent to which they will go to.
Both Mane and Chamberlain predominantly play on the right flank for their clubs but have the ability to cut inside and interchange with others, playing the position both players occupy you are expected to have the ability to create chances and both players impress in this trait. They are inseparable with the amount of chances they have created thus far this season with Chamberlain and Mané creating 1.77 chances per 90 minutes.
Creating chances is a natural trait that wingers should carry, but being able to contribute with that and assisting others is also very key and important for the team. The Arsenal man has double the assists of the Senegalese international with 0.50 assists per 90 thus far with Mané behind on 0.24.
Another trait versatile wingers carry is key passes, it shows they’re efficient in offensive areas and has hawk-eye vision in getting behind defences with defence split passes. Mané impresses in this stat and has thus far managed 1.52 key passes compared to Chamberlain’s 1.26.
Wingers usually have great stamina and have the ability to take on their man with pace / beautiful skill and this is something in which both players possess. Chamberlain has great upper body strength and pace which allows him to beat his man whilst Mané has pace and elegant skill whilst having the ability to glide past and in behind his man. The Arsenal man comes out on top for successful take on’s with an immense 65.85% with the latter narrowly behind on 57.53%.
Liverpool are top goal scorers in the Premier League and with their excellent Mané leaving in January may look to the market to replace his goals/creativity. Chamberlain has managed just 0.25 goals per 90 thus far this season compared to the Liverpool man who has managed 0.49 after having a prolific time in front of goal.
As you can see, Chamberlain, at just 23-years-old would be a decent addition to any club in and around Europe as he is still yet to fulfil his colossal potential but is blossoming this season. Klopp himself rubbished the rumours of a potential move for the Ox by saying “I don’t usually talk about other players, but I can make an exception – nonsense,”.
Klopp, as you thought has rubbished the rumours, which you would expect, but if he felt the Gunners man may be available this winter I have no doubt he would capitalise on it, Chamberlain would certainly be an exquisite signing for the Reds, but Arsenal will be reluctant to sell to a direct rival as they look to extend his current contract.