Report: Working with Klopp ‘tempts’ Ox

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The Times [£] and Telegraph report this morning that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is tempted by the prospect of working with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Arsene Wenger is eager to tie down the England international, who is out of contract in June 2018, to a new long-term deal, however, with negotiations on hold until the end of the season Arsenal could face a tough decision if the 23-year-old chooses not to renew.

The Gunners definitely don’t want to sell to a rival Premier League team. At the same time, they don’t want to lose the midfielder, signed for an initial £12 million fee from Southampton in 2011, on a free transfer. Liverpool are said to be ready to pay £25 million.

Judging by the tone of today’s newspaper articles, presumably planted by Chamberlain’s representatives, it certainly looks as though the Gunners have work to do if they are to persuade Chamberlain to stick around.

An emphasis on his desire to start games in the centre of the park sticks out. In recent weeks he’s been played at right wing-back by Arsene Wenger, a position that he’s excelled in with performances that reaffirm his match-winning qualities. The confusion over Arsene Wenger’s future is also underlined as a sticking point although the Frenchman’s continued presence isn’t necessarily seen as a necessity.

Chamberlain has made 192 appearances for the Gunners in the last six years but his lack of consistency, not helped by the fact he’s been deployed in a range of positions, has often been highlighted as a problem.

Arseblog News suspects there will be plenty more stories like this in the coming weeks. Given Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are also hogging the headlines it’s going to make uncomfortable reading for Gooners.

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72 Comments on "Report: Working with Klopp ‘tempts’ Ox"

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Prolix

Fuck Ramsey and get the ox in the middle and get Hector right wing back ffs!!!!

IamaGoober

This summer is going to be horrific fellow Gooners… again quoting one of my favorite movies of all time ‘Jurassic Park’

‘.. hold onto your butts’

Goonie

Different type of players. Ramseys game intelligence is a lot better than Ox’s. Many players like Ox around but hope we keep him. Any player is replaceable.

Anders

No no no, Ramsey is playing well now. Let him continue there into next season and we may get him up to 13/14 / Wales level if he avoids injuries. Ox is also doing really well on the right side. If Bellerin were to come in now we would have to look at playing either him or Ox from the left, because I don’t think Gibbs is doing too much. He’s fair enough tho.

Toure motors

Symptomatic of the shitstorm that the club is in. Clever work from his agent as well

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa

I hope his agents are just doing what Walcott’s agents did to earn him a new contract. The Ox cannot leave arsenal, let alone to Liverpool!!!

Goonsquad

I like Ox & Theo, but they’re not exactly setting the world on fire. They are both capable of putting in performances to make us believe in them, usually around contract negotiations time, but if we really want to step up and compete with the really big boys we need world beaters not inconsistent players that might or might not turn up on the day. Ramsey falls into the same category, they’re occupying squad positions which should really be held by players of a higher calibre. Flashes of brilliance interspersed with mediocrity just isn’t good enough. If they can’t be consistently better, then there are probably better options available to us

Spanish Gooner

I really don’t get the logic of waiting for summer to renew his contract – why wait until he has other, maybe better, offers on the table to start negotiations?

JDizzle

Arsenal aren’t waiting. The logic is that The Ox’s agent won’t enter negotiations until they are in as strong a position as possible to demand a move (or hopefully just higher wages at Arsenal).

Gus Caesar

And there will always be other offers on the table, that’s the job of an agent, to make the strongest case possible for the best offer they can get. But there is also obvious logic to not prematurely offering a new deal to someone who has generally been either injured or underwhelming. £25m would be a good price for him and i’m not convinced that it would be that much higher if he had 5 years left on his contract and we’d shelled out £5-10m on a new contract for him last summer.

And_Arsene_Said...

£25m for the Ox??
What do you think they’re smoking over there at Anfield?

Lord Bendtner

Also, perhaps Ox wants to see which team will make the top 4. To me, I have a strong feeling we aren’t going to make into the Champs League

Heavenly Chapecoense

Sorry, Ox is part of the reasons we may not be top 4. He’s been good for quarter of the season but how many goals did he score for an offensive player ? Uh down development over 6 years in the club.

Clive St Helmet

Clubs are not allowed approach players or their agents without the selling club’s permission, so Ox should not have other offers on the table. Of course, it seems likely that players are tapped up all the time, but this smells of an agent tactic to negotiate a better deal for his client.

I reckon he’d fit in well at Liverpool. I also reckon that Arsenal should pull out the stops to keep him.

emob

That is completely unenforcable and does not cover what actually goes on. The club will be speaking with the agent and sounding him out before which they’re free to. It doesn’t matter when they actually speak to the player, the rule is a complete paper tiger.

emob

You’re wrong on the agents, they may be approavched any time, usually an agent has more than one client, so such a rule would be completely unenforcable.

Clive St Helmet

It may very well be unenforceable, I don’t pretend to be in the know although I suspect it happens all the time. However, the rules are that clubs cannot contact either a contacted player or his agent without the selling club’s permission.

http://www.inbrief.co.uk/football-law/football-player-under-contract-approach-clubs/

emob

Thanks for the info, I really did not know that the rule included agents. But there’s the next problem, they may not contact “his” agent which again is ambiguougs the way deals are strctured. Oftentimes there is more than one agent, the club may also employ an agent to act on their behalf and there may be several layers of people. So in the end the rule has no practical value.

Clive St Helmet

Yeah, I suspect you’re absolutely correct. Still, Ox (or most likely his agent) can’t use offers from other clubs as a negotiating tactic.

IIRC, he shares an agent with Raheem Sterling. Look how that turned out.

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

Summer is just around the corner, so there’s not going to be much waiting involved. I’m guessing nothing will happen in terms of contracts until Wenger’s own contract situation is resolved one way or the other.

crapaud

Cant afford to lose him when he is beginning to show he can deliver on his undoubted potential

Gus Caesar

Sell. Underwhelming for 6 years and suddenly he finds form when his contract is up for negotiation. It’s almost as if his name is actually Theo…

Anthony Da Don

underwhelming which part. He is just a kid and has been stop start with injuries. One of the only players in the team who has the ability to drive and glide past people. Bellerin and Walcott always tend to pass backwards. Alexis either slows the game down or gives it away 9 times out of 10

Gus Caesar

He’s 23, he’s hardly a kid. If you look back over his last few years he actually very rarely goes 90 minutes and that’s squarely down to his conditioning, he’s often shattered at 70 minutes. He’s started 109 games in 6 years and turned in about 10-15 really good performances over that time. I think he’s enormously talented and I don’t disagree on his ability to change the dynamic of games, but why have we seen it so rarely and is it a coincidence that it often arrives when his contract is being negotiated? For me he’s precisely the type of player that sums up why we’re competing for 4th place, he is a 4th place player. It always baffles me that there’s so much frustration on here about our position and yet such reluctance to move on from the players who have been central to that underperformance. Yes, he might well live up to his potential somewhere else but there comes a time when you have to cut your losses with players, take that risk and give someone else the chance.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe it’s because fans can see the talent in players and don’t have faith in the manager’s ability to bring it out of them?

Gus Caesar

Don’t you think there’s a bit of a paradox in what you’re saying given that the very same manager identified the talent in that player in the first place and has given him vast opportunities to demonstrate it? I think if there’s one thing that Wenger does do very well it’s develop great young talents, there’s no shortage of examples, but he can’t do it for these players. It’s very easy to blame Wenger for everything nowadays but the biggest criticism i’d have of him is his over-loyalty and the amount of chances he gives players before he gets rid.

Crash Fistfight

I don’t see the paradox. I think Arsene still has an eye for talent (he wouldn’t have missed out on so many great players without having spotted them in the first place).

What I don’t see is his ability to get the most from the talents of the players at his disposal. He has total control over who he signs but seemingly no clear plan for what to do with them before doing so(see Elneny and Perez).

Also, not providing the structure and instruction that would allow players to understand their own identity within the team/squad (I can’t believe Ox has any clue what his identity as a player is, having been played across 4 different positions) surely doesn’t help players focus on their position in order to improve.

Which players have improved since Arsene started playing them, over the last 5/6 years?

Gus Caesar

The thing is, you and I have no idea whatsoever whether Wenger does have a plan, instruction or structure for his players, but it would strike me as particularly odd for a manager as well considered as Wenger not to have one for every player. Personally I think it’s one of those intangible sticks that gets used to beat Wenger – we don’t know one way or the other so we’ll just jump to the conclusion that suits. It’s never the fault of the players for not taking their opportunities.

In answer to your question, off the top of my head: Bellerin, Monreal, Koscielny, Iwobi, Gnabry, Giroud have all taken massive strides inside the last 5-6 years.

Crash Fistfight

Bellerin has got progressively worse, Iwobi never plays any more because he hasn’t played as well as last season, Gnabry played for a short while before getting a long term injury, getting fat and not playing again (not Arsene’s fault, but hardly an example of someone getting better). I will agree on the others.

On the first point, he basically said that he didn’t know what position Elneny would ultimately play when he signed him. Podolski was supposed to play up front and then he ‘realised he couldn’t play there’. Perez was supposed to be a centre forward and then got shunted to the wing. Does anyone know what role Xhaka was supposed to have been purchased to fulfil?

Gus Caesar

Bellerin has been carrying a knackered ankle for the last 4 months but I think you’re wrong otherwise to say he’s been getting worse. All young players go through leaner spells before hitting another peak and Bellerin is no different. Iwobi has been taken out of the firing line recently and that’s a perfectly normal and sensible way of managing the development of a youngster, he needed a break. As for Gnabry, you asked who got better in the last 5-6 years under Wenger and he went from our under 18s to a place in our first team in that time, that is a massive improvement irrespective of his injuries.

Xhaka? Yes, he was signed to do exactly what he’s done all season and what he did last night.

Quite obviously Elneny is a squad player and a central midfielder, he doesn’t need any more specific role than that because he can fill any central role. Perez has played a small handful of games on the wing but suffered as a striker because of a) the Alexis up top experiment (which worked pretty well) and b) the return of Welbeck. But you get players like Elneny and Perez in every squad, they were signed as back-up options and that’s exactly what they’ve been. I can’t see what’s negative in that personally, it’s great to have quality in depth rather than having to turn to the likes of Bischoff, Eastmond and Henderson like we have in other seasons.

Flashmob

He is hardly a kid… Now.
But you’re making your statement based on his past 5-6 years when he was indeed a kid competing with much more experienced players like Theo, Alexis, Gervinho or even Cazorla…
(not to mention the his injuries of course – He had to miss almost 150 days last season and about the same number of days in the 13/14 season)

Gus Caesar

When it comes to a failing young British player at Arsenal people fall over themselves to make excuses for them. 6 years is a long time in the life of a professional footballer. He was a first team regular at Southampton when he joined us and his impact on this Arsenal time over 6 years has been negligible. Ample opportunity, massive inconsistency. Obviously I empathise on the injury-front but you and I don’t know how much of that is down to his conditioning and whether he’s doing the right things with his body. All I do know is that there needs to be point at which we need to move on whether that’s through injuries or otherwise. Ox is as much a part of the failings of this team as anyone else and if we want to upgrade the squad then at some point we have to be prepared to let the players go, let them prove us wrong elsewhere. Constantly rewarding failure is not something that we should be doing either at management level or player level. One thing I do know is that someone like Mourinho wouldn’t tolerate the inconsistency, Ox would have been gone 2 or 3 years ago. We’re far too nice, too loyal and that’s why our players live in a comfort zone.

Gus Caesar

And if he’s not better than Gervinho and Walcott then that says everything you need to know…

Flashmob

Yes, I agree that there needs to be a point… but the decision should not lock out but embrace sound reasoning!
Do you think it is a smart decision to sell a player who is just before his peak years and just after his most succesful season at our club?

Yes there were a Gervinho too, but in recent years (when Ox was 19-20-21-22 years old he had to fight for his place with, Özil, Alexis, Santi, Theo, Welbeck
World champ., Copa America winner, European Champ., and two stable English international.
At the moment he is just catching up with them… (at least the last two)

And sell him now???

Gus Caesar

I would, yes. I don’t agree that he’s had his best season, I think people have very short-term memories – he stank earlier in the season, Iwobi kept him out for a lot of it, but people only remember his most recent performances. He’s only been starting recently because of Bellerin’s dodgy ankle. He’s symptomatic of our squad in recent years – flakey, inconsistent and insufficiently focused. And his fitness level and conditioning is awful and always has been.

Last night’s display was a perfect encapsulation of his Arsenal career – a couple of adventurous runs to raise hopes, loads of over-hit or poorly considered crosses that wasted possession, some badly-judged runs straight into opponents and yet another muscular injury.

Nobody should be guaranteed a career at Arsenal and I think 6 years is enough time to show what he’s capable of. Time to let someone else have a crack.

Tim

Except that Theo was offered mega money and didn’t sign until we had offered an even bigger contract.

The Ox hasnt been offered anything.

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

If we were in a better position, that may have been an option, but with a strong likelihood of missing out on CL, we’re going to have a harder time (as if it wasn’t hard already) signing top players and the logic behind a willingness to sell, I hope, would be the desire to sign someone better. Someone who’s now going to think twice about signing for us. So IMHO it’s not the right time to sell, if it depends on us. The lad can perform and is reaching maturity. It’s always a gamble, but we’ve almost turned the Emirates into a casino already so perhaps focusing on finding replacements for Alexis and Ozil should not be made harder by adding up more work on top and needing to find a replacement for Chambo, then easing him in, etc. I know some fans would like to see the whole team sacked, together with Wenger, Gazidis and the whole board, but that’s not realistic.

PFo

Good thing you’re not running our football club.

Mike

Crazy we’ve let it get to this point. Sums up the ineptitude of those in positions of power at the club. How you allow so many players and the manager get to this point in terms of contracts is maddening.

Gus Caesar

I think the Ozil and Sanchez situations are crazy if indeed we have left it this late but all of the evidence suggests that we haven’t, rather the players have waited. I’m not so sure that giving Ox a new deal last summer would have been shrewd business – his market value wouldn’t have been that much bigger. Ditto Wilshere. Personally there’s nothing i’d love more than to see the club upgrade on the mediocrity we’ve had from the likes of Ox and Walcott over the last few years -mentally weak, flakey footballers who only tend to perform when they’re at risk of being sold or they might not get to a World Cup. Liverpool would be getting an inconsistent and injury-prone player – good luck to them if they want to pay us £25m for the pleasure.

GunnerYY

To be fair Arsenal want to extent Ozil and Sanchez contract since last year, somehow last summer we can’t because of Euro and Copa. Then we want to extent it by December and both of them seems to refuse and wait till summer. Maybe they have no faith with our club in terms of challenging PL and CL and want to see Arsenal real intention first, challenge for glory or just participating as usual.

PFo

Yes, let’s sell one of our most talented players, who’s young, English, and has been one of our best players this season, to a direct rival for 25m, when the likes of Stones and Sterling went for 50. Brilliant idea.

Gus Caesar

One of our best players this season? Really? Remove the games since we’ve switched to 5-2-2-1 and tell me what Ox did to be so highly regarded. He’s had a good few weeks after a season of mediocrity – the odd good goal, the odd great dribble, the odd good pass and equally quite a few dreadful contributions. And that is the story of his career with Arsenal, every season the same.

The value of a player is how much people are willing to pay for them. Stones went for £50m because that was what he waas worth to City – if City didn’t pay that someone else would have. If Ox is worth more than £25m then a) we’ll get it and b) better clubs than Liverpool would be sniffing about. We won’t and they’re not and that’s for a very good reason – he hasn’t been good enough. Who knows, maybe a change will do him good and his value will rocket next summer but I don’t personally believe we have to fear that. Most players reach their level by 23 and I think he’s found his, he’s a 4th place player.

begeegs

I know that a lot of this is agentSpeak, but this should speak volumes about Wenger’s ability to attract talent. This is an up-and-coming talent who wants to leave to work with a younger-more progressive manager.

Tim

No mention in the article that Ox still hasn’t been offered a contract by Arsenal.

If I hadn’t been offered a contract it’d send a pretty clear message about how much the club want me. If we don’t show we want him, then I wouldn’t blame him for leaving.

Gus Caesar

Maybe we don’t want him? Maybe we’re trying to tempt offers for him so that we can upgrade?

PFo

If you think we’re getting an upgrade on him this summer then you’re deluded.

Gus Caesar

I didn’t say I did. But I think it’s quite possible that we took a deliberate decision not to offer him a new contract, it’s not an accident.

It’s no secret that both he and Gibbs were being offered around to other clubs last summer and they stayed because we didn’t get an offer for either sufficient for us to buy a good enough replacement. If true (i’m dubious) £25m would be ample.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Given the current market, £25m seems a steal. Versatile, young, English and pacy – however I’m assuming being the last year of his deal dictates.

If he has to go I’d rather not sell him to Liverpool given all the crap they gave us over the Suarez bid. Rather just accept a bid from the Chinese Super League and move on. If he really wants to progress as a footballer away from Arsenal why doesn’t his agent talk about a move abroad to Juve or Bayern? Liverpool is a sideways move.

Crash Fistfight

They probably wouldn’t be interested in signing him. Besides, it’s a huge upheaval if you have to move to another country, with all that entails (plus his missus is based on the UK – she’s unlikely to want to travel between here and there to see him).

Crash Fistfight

For all the down-voters, who would he displace in the Juve or Bayern teams?

Abayomi

Ox’s life, his decisions… However, he’s risen to the comfortable height now with his sensational newly found form in an environment he’s familiar with.
New club would sure arouse new challenges…
His call!!!

Roof_attack

Its got to the point for me where I don’t care who goes , as we seem to achieve less and less with the more quality we have! Ozil and Alexis are dead certs to leave this summer in my opinion, along with at least 3 or 4 squad players. I wish I could fast forward football to 1st September 2017 so I can be spared a summer of absolute turmoil , unanswered questions and last minute bungled transfers.

god help us all!

Hafthor

We allready know the Ox is Wenger out due to his twitter activity so not very surprising news that he is interested in working with a different manager.

Vinie2000

We have become utter shambles. Even the manager is taking us for fools telling a decision about his future by March or April and the season will be over soon created all this uncertainty for Arsenal to find new coach too. Time to Go

Adams

Not a single player in this is worth crying over if they leave. If their heart is not in it 100%, good riddance.

Ashish Chandra

35 mn, sell him. He is far too useless. One good cross in a century doesnt make a good footballer.

Perry

The idea that the Ox has ‘excelled’ this season is one of the biggest myths around. He’s still the same incomplete player he’s always been, one or two good runs and then a game full of misplaced passes, lack of vision, and a complete disaster defensively. His poor first touch and inconsistent passing mean that can’t play central midfield against decent teams where he needs to be able to receive and play the ball quickly in tight situations, and his defensive deficiencies will always make him a risk at wing back. His best role is still as a sub for the last 10-15 min when the game is getting stretched. If we sign him to a contract for big money we will live to regret it, like the extensions we gave to Theo.

Gus Caesar

This, 100%.

JDizzle

Are you sure about that? I would say he’s certainly excelled in comparison to seasons gone by.

Not only has he improved his output (6 goals + 9 assists) in all comps, but IMO he has become a much more stable, accomplished player who uses the ball a lot better and gets caught out of position a lot less.

The guy is 23 and is only going to improve.

Keep him at all costs!

Gus Caesar

I don’t agree. Look at his performance last night – the perfect summary of his Arsenal career. At 23 you normally plateau as an outfield player and I really don’t think he has anything else up his sleeve that we’ve not already seen.

Deano

Always linked with the same club…. guess he’ll be off then.

ramgooner

Arsenal and Arsene have shown remarkable patience with Ox. No other club or manager in the world would do the same for players like Ox,Ramsey,Theo and Gibbs.
The Ox is just 23 and it’s unbelievable the number of matches he’s played at the top level. To name a few he has started against Milan,Barcelona,Bayern,Monaco in the CL.
Ox could go on and become an Arsenal legend if he stays here and fulfills his potential. He’s got 2 FA cups with us at 23.
If he leaves that is the end of youth development at Arsenal. I can understand Cesc leaving because he is Spanish. But, if Ox leaves that has to be down to money.

Perry

I see it as completely the opposite. Part of youth development is recognizing when players aren’t going to develop as expected and moving them on to create opportunities for others. Its become stale at Arsenal because for 5 years we’ve been sitting around waiting for the British core to develop, giving chance after chance to underperformers like Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox, Theo etc. This would not happen at any serious club anywhere in Europe. The Ox has shown no signs whatsoever that he will become an Arsenal legend, and I don’t see the fact that he participated in a series of bad losses in the CL as any positive indication of his ability. It’s time to move these guys on and start bringing through or signing other players – and maybe this time we should focus on their footballing ability instead of just their passport.

Gus Caesar

People forget that we only have a limited number of squad place and our wage bill isn’t bottomless, this isn’t Championship Manager. For every place filled by an average performer like Ox there is one less place for either a new signing or a route to the first team blocked for a youngster like Chris Willock or Reiss Nelson. If this squad has under performed, which it has, then we need to take some tough decisions and leave sentiment to one side. I loved Abou Diaby as a player and felt very sorry for him but I knew that we had to put the interests of the club first at some point and, eventually, we did. As you say, football is a tough business and part and parcel is spotting when a player has stopped developing and getting rid. I don’t see that we can have it both ways – we can’t be nice and give players limitless chances and also expect us to be ruthless and winners. Based on the comments on here I swear that some people would still have average dross like Podolski and Vermaelen in our squad out of sentiment, we’d never sell anybody.

ramgooner

I think Ox and Ramsey have shown they can be useful in patches. Theo started defending this season and he has some goals in him but is not decisive yet. I’d cut my losses on Wilshere and Gibbs. I think Theo and Ramsey have a season in them to show us what they are capable of. Ox is an exception and he is very very young.
What we need to do is buy players like sanchez and ozil and push these guys out of the first team.
They had their chances and now it’s payback time.

Gus Caesar

23 isn’t “very very young”. And being “useful in patches” is no good to a club that needs consistently high quality performances. If you want to be useful in patches your level is a club like West Ham. Having these players is precisely why we don’t compete for the league title, we are the embodiment of mediocrity.

bazza_wicks

its obvious the termoil in the club gazidis Vs wenger is having an effect on the club in many ways, do players want to wait to commit to new deals until Wenger announces his stay or go policy, the Ox could be in the camp of if he stays he will not sign and go and Ozil and sanchez are on the fence, im hoping that not making CL will and being in europa league keep them! theres more roles of the dice to come i fear worryingly

Dutch Gooner

Stories like this make you appreciate players like cazorla and koscielny, who the only time you hear something about is when they’ve already signed the extension.

Gus Caesar

Absolutely and I think there’s good reason for that. They don’t need their agents to whip up interest and to drive up their value. Their importance is obvious and their contributions speak for themselves.

Paul

No problem with selling on. Decent lately but how many times has he disappeared. I’d never sell to Liverpool though . The Suarez incident was all their doing.

Theoptimist

If he wants to work with Klopp, I say let’s make it happen! When does Klopp’s contract end and how much to buy him out of it?

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