[Transfer Targets] Low Down On Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain & His Chances Of Joining Arsenal

By on July 21, 2011

Having made the first big money signing of the summer in Gervinho, it seems that Arsenal may want to push the boat out again for another winger: this time, the Southampton starlet Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain. The 17-year-old is a regular starter for League 1 promotion winners Southampton and his performances, although in a lower division, have caught the eye of Arsenal and Manchester United who have both tried to sign him:

Arsene Wenger: “We need an agreement with Southampton and the player. We are not the only ones on the case. But we’ll try hard as I like him as a player.” 

Sir Alex Ferguson: “He is only young but has potential. Southampton have done well bringing players through. He is another one along with Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott.”

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What’s his pedigree?: In thirty-six league games for Southampton, Chamberlain has found the back of the net nine times as well as delivering nine assists. Although these statistics are not exactly mind-blowing, the fact he has achieved this at the tender age of seventeen in the physical League 1 has attracted to clubs to him. Did we mention he has been capped at England Under-21 level despite being six years younger than his team-mates? He was also featured in the League 1 team of the year and Chamberlain is confident and vocal regarding his own ability:

“There’s no barrier on the age you have to be to play in the Premier League. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to prove that. At this point I feel I am ready. I am still young and I still have time to go into a Premier League set-up and learn.”

How’s the chemistry?: Chamberlain has two good feet and has played in every midfield position, excelling on the wings with his lightning pace and raw power – he’s exactly the versatile, young squad-player you’d want when playing a 4-3-3 formation. Should we make this signing, we’d probably be looking at Arshavin and Chamberlain competing for position on the left with Gervinho and Rosicky on the right (assuming Walcott takes up his preferred central role to fill in for the want-away Nicklas Bendtner) which would provide healthy competition on both flanks: especially since Gervinho and Chamberlain can both play on either wing.

Do we have a chance?: In what seems a rare occurrence in the backdrop of the Alvarez/Campbell debacle, Chamberlain seems to genuinely want to join Arsenal and is not just talking the talk:

“I’ve heard Arsenal are in for me and to join a top-four club is what I hope for. When the bus comes along, you have to jump on it and make the most of your opportunities.”

His father Mark has seemingly earmarked Arsenal as the best team for his son’s development and can expect his son to play in the cup competitions fairly soon should he sign; once again, the only real obstacle here is the transfer fee. Southampton are solid financially and so have reportedly tagged their prodigy with a £15 million price tag as they want to keep him for the forthcoming Championship season – this is far more than Chamberlain’s realistic value of around £8 million.                                                                      

Likely bid: £10 million. Probability: 6/10, although the fee is a stumbling block.

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