Southampton are reportedly very interested in bringing ex-academy graduate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back to the St Mary’s where he started his career this summer. Chamberlain is thought to be considering his long-term future with the Gunners as he wants regular first team football which Arsenal cannot guarantee. The 22 year old England international has been at the Gunners after he was signed from Southampton for a reported fee of £15 million.
Chamberlain has had an uninspiring season, to say the least, after his goal in the Community Shield everyone was raving about him finally fulfilling his potential this season. He has struggled to nail down a starting spot which has led to him thinking about his long-term future with Arsenal. Chamberlain scored his first goal in the Premier League this season in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth back in February. He then went through a good patch and cemented a place in the starting 11 which was cut short when he collided with Mascherano in the 2-0 loss to Barcelona and injured his knee which is likely to keep him out of action until May.
Chamberlain is said to be very happy at Arsenal but doesn’t want to damage his own progress and England chances.
According to the Daily Mirror Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is Southampton’s number one target this summer as the club prepares to make a bid. Southampton are willing to make him their highest paid player and are even prepared to offer him vice-captaincy as they try to win over his services and bring him back to his childhood club.
Chamberlain’s current contract expires in 2018 and clubs have been alerted to this, they feel if the price is right they may be able to tempt Arsenal into selling their winger. It is said they are willing to offer him a huge contract and make him a senior player at the club if he was to re-sign for them.
Southampton will have to beat of several clubs for his services as Manchester City, West Ham, and Chelsea are all monitoring his current situation.
This report comes after speculation that Southampton captain Jose Fonte is trying to persuade Chamberlain to sign for his former club. It has been reported by the Daily Mirror that Fonte tried to convince Chamberlain in January to re-join him at St Mary’s and will now try again this summer. Fonte played with Chamberlain when the pair played for the Saints and is desperate to get the Englishman to sign for his former club.
An added bonus for Southampton in their pursuit for Chamberlain is that he will not join another London club out of respect for the Gunners as he has also enjoyed a special relationship with the Arsenal fans.
So how does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain compare to Southampton’s current crop of midfielders Sadio Mane (24) and Dusan Tadic (27)
A stat that really impresses me is Chamberlain’s successful take on’s. He scores a very high 70.59 percent which puts him first, this really impresses me because playing as a winger you can be exposed against a defender, with Chamberlains score it shows he successfully wins most of his duels. Tadic is second with 65.12 percent and Mane last with 56.03 percent. Tadic has created a very impressive 2.86 chances which puts him top, Chamberlain is second with 1.83 and Mane last on 1.52, both Chamberlain and Tadic have played a lot fewer minutes than Mane but have both created more chances. Southampton have scored 44 goals in 33 games this season which is good but not great, Unfortunately Chamberlain wouldn’t contribute much based on stats as he scores a very low 0.10 on goals scored, Mane is second with 0.20 and Tadic just leads Mane with 0.24. As a winger you would be expected to test the keeper when you can and Mane isnt shy of doing so as he has had the most shots with 2.85, Chamberlain is second with 2.21 and Tadic last with 2.18. Key passes could lead to goals for your team, Tadic has scored a very impressive 2.57 key passes which beats second place Chamberlain 1.83 and last place Mane 1.28. In total, Tadic scores the highest for total attack score on 22.04, this is just in front of second place Mane with 21.26 and last place Chamberlain who scores 19.85.
In summary I feel Chamberlain would be a top signing for Southampton and they could well help him reach his potential and give him the game time he so badly needs. At such a young age of just 22 he can only get better. I do feel Arsenal shouldn’t cash in on their midfielder and give him at least one more season to try and cement himself a place in the starting 11. Chamberlain deserves to play week in week out and he may push for a summer move whether that be to his old club or elsewhere. I do feel if he was sold Arsenal would be making a huge mistake. His decision may be based on whether he is selected for the Euros or not.