Reports have started to emerge regarding what could be on the surprise transfers of the summer window. Arsenal's English international midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is currently a transfer target for Premier League Champions, Chelsea.
Reports suggest that Chelsea are joining the race to sign the player and are determined to beat rivals Liverpool and Manchester City to his signature. With Liverpool seeming the most likely to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent weeks, that Chelsea are now in the running suggests a deal with Jurgen Klopp's side is far from certain. A key element of any potential transfer away from Arsenal is that he only has one year left on his contract. This means that Arsenal must either convince The Ox to stay and sign a new deal, or sell him this summer whilst they can still demand a fee.
Whilst Arsene Wenger has made it known he would like to keep Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal, it appears that no contract offer is currently on the table. Add to this an obvious desire to lay claim to a more regular first team spot and it makes the likelihood of him signing a new deal seem remote.
So how would Oxlade-Chamberlain fit in at Chelsea and would he be able to force his way into the starting lineup. After all, if first team action is what he demands, then Chelsea may be even tougher to break into than at Arsenal. Most often recognised as an attacking wide midfielder, let's compare The Ox to the two Chelsea players he could perhaps offer competition to, Willian and Pedro. Because he was also used as a makeshift wingback at Arsenal, it may be worth also comparing him to Victor Moses.
The most obvious point we can see instantly is that of the key attacking areas, he fails to offer any returns higher than the Chelsea men. Whilst 7 assists is a decent number, especially in comparison to Willian and Moses, it's the goals department that really lets him down. Finding the back of the net just twice all last season is a very poor return for someone in an Arsenal side that is certainly not shy in playing attacking football.
We could make some excuses to explain the low returns by his lack of minutes on the pitch. Just 1573 minutes played over his 29 appearances. However, we only need to look at Willian who actually played 21 minutes less and still made more of an impact. This is especially true when it comes to creating chances, an area in which Willian clearly stands out.
So where would Oxlade-Chamberlain fit in if he did move to Chelsea? With rumours that Willian is potentially on the radar to link up with old boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, we think The Ox could definitely fill that gap.
Likewise, towards the end of last season we saw Pedro utilised as a makeshift wing back by Antonio Conte, so perhaps he sees a similar roll for him there. However, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been fairly vocal about wishing to stick to his more attacking inclinations, so it would seem odd if he made the switch to play a defensive minded roll.
For Chelsea there are obvious benefits of picking up a player who ticks a number of boxes. He's young at only 23 and so signing him would represent a player with a future resale value. He also fulfils the ever important criteria of being homegrown, which is something Chelsea have struggled to maintain in recent years. And of course switching to another London club would make life easier for the player to settle quickly.
When it comes to Oxlade Chamberlain on the Football Index, The Chelsea rumours have seen a decent increase in his price. From a price of around £1.20 a few days ago, he has reached a peak price of £1.52 before settling back to his current value of around £1.30.
There's no doubt that if a more concrete transfer bid came in, then his price would probably reach around the £1.70 mark. However, we must as always compare with similar players. As we can see, aside from the obvious star price of Eden Hazard, Chelsea players do not tend to reach high values. N'Golo Kante, Willian and Cesc Fabregas are around £1, despite them all having been previous Buzz winners. And Pedro has suffered a sharp drop to around 90p.
This would indicate a price for Oxlade at Chelsea to be around the same £1 mark, so whilst you may enjoy a few Buzz wins during the transfer saga, we don't see him being a great hold for the coming season.
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