VIDEO: “Arsenal won’t sign a No. 8 until Ox’s future is resolved”


What do Arsenal do next this summer? Reports suggest Riyad Mahrez and Thomas Lemar are on our shopping list but there’s nothing concrete on either front.

In his latest Gunnervlog, James discusses whether the uncertain future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez is in the final 12 months of his contract, is influencing our transfer plans.

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46 Comments on "VIDEO: “Arsenal won’t sign a No. 8 until Ox’s future is resolved”"

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My wig smells cheesy

Sell him and get someone who can do the cm job properly


I seriously see him more as an alexis replacement.. if he goes. Both have the same attributes. Remember that match against West Ham last year? Him and ox singlehandedly took them apart. He can beat a man and shoot, for me LAM is his position not central midfield.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Arsenal has been very patient with Ox over the years. He owes a lot to Wenger and Arsenal. If he doesn’t understand that, he should be let go.


While i canunderstand the sentiment I’m very much of the opinion that he owes neither arsenal, nor arsene anything. At the end of the day it’s his job!


I like the OX but honestly it’s time for Wenger and the club to become ruthless with players. We need to stop focusing on making sure players don’t have competition so they aren’t blocked or talking about potential for players that have been here for years. Make Sanchez stay whether or not he likes it baring a massive bid from Inter or someone. Buy a real CM – we have had so many seasons fall apart thanks to not wanting competition for a player and then that player goes down injured. If the OX doesn’t think he’s good enough to compete for a role then so be it. Arsenal is a big club – no other big club will just hand him a starting role regardless of performance. This is a crucial period for him – if he doesn’t meaningfully improve his performances (he needs consistency) then in 1-2 years he will be like Jack – a mid table player.

My wig smells cheesy

I wonder if he genuinely believes he is better than the cm’s we already have? It’s not like he can look at his performances in the middle with much pride. I would understand if he had done really well there and was being over looked. His best attributes are pace and skinning players. Play on the wing and concentrate on improving your delivery- that’s what I would tell him if he wanted to drive up to my house for advice and a ham sandwich

Original Paul

Would there be any cheese in that sandwich? 🙂

My wig smells cheesy

No Paul. There would be mustard though. If he was looking for cheese in his ham sandwich he’d be best placed looking elsewhere. I hope you understand

My cheese smells wiggy
My cheese smells wiggy

His best games have been at CM.

not so fed up

I think it is time for injury plagued players to go – Wilshire, ox and the like!!! Get some quality and reliable players in the team!!!


I’m sure this will get a lot of downvotes but Jack did nothing last year to make me think he’s a top level premier league player. Tell him to either find a new club or that he won’t even get a squad number this year. Even if we don’t get a major fee for him it will get him off the wage bill and he’s on pretty significant wages at this point.

My wig smells cheesy

I agree, he looked weaker than most of Bournemouths starting 11

My wig smells cheesy

And give Mesut his number 10 shirt. He’s been waiting patiently. Oh, but sign the contract first please!

Faisal Narrage

Let’s be honest; Project Brit, which followed on the failures of Project Youth, is a failure. It’s time for a reboot and for Wenger to simply return to “Project Replicate Invincibles”.

Gibbs = Failure
Jenks = Failure
Jack = Failure
Ox = Looking like a failure (imo, he should signal the end, as we sacrificed the purchases of players to give him his opportunity, and lost the likes of Gnabry who Ox blocked his path especially as they were so similar)
Theo = Failure (but he’s unlikely to leave)
Ramsey = most successful of all, and deffo a squad option, but imo isn’t the player he threatened or promised to be).


I get fans who are pissed off at the Ox for not signing and (allegedly) wanting out, and who think he’s not worth the trouble so we should let him go.

But I don’t think–based on his performances last season, rather than frustration over the contract situation–you can reasonably say he’s “looking like a failure.”

Last year he had his best season for us since his very first year when he burst onto the scene as a teenager. He looked good in the spring in central midfield (ok, it was against some weak opposition, but you can only play the opponent in front of you, and he was also good in the first half of the second leg against Bayern before Kos’s red card ruined the second half), and when played at right wing back he was easily one of our top performers before picking up a slight injury near season’s end.

Taking into account how poor he was two seasons ago, I think there’s a strong case for saying he was our most improved player last year. I honestly think he had a better overall season than both Ramsey and Bellerin, the two players who probably are his most direct competition (note: I’m NOT saying I think he’s a better player than either!).

You could say he still should have delivered more over the course of his time at the club, but those years were his time to develop, and we were right to be patient. Given his youth, injuries, and being played in many different positions, I think last season was the first season we could really fairly be saying of him: “ok mate, you have to deliver now or else.” And he did deliver: a huge improvement, better production in terms of pure numbers, and looking like a deserved starter at right wing back. He still has plenty to improve on but his current trajectory is positive.

If you think he should be sold, I respect that view. (I also get his wanting to play in the middle, even if I disagree about that being his best position–hey, it’s his career, and it’ll go by in a flash, so he should make the most of it–and I get it if he’s feeling a bit miffed that the club didn’t see fit to even offer him a new deal until the summer before his current one expired.)

But saying he now looks like a failure just smacks of “never fancied her anyway” revisionism.

Faisal Narrage

Oh I don’t think he’s a failure in that sense. He’s only 23, and I think in time he would make a CM. This whole situation is the club’s doing for waiting till now to tie him up.

I meant the Ox PROJECT will be a failure if he leaves. And as arguably the most talented of the British lot, him leaving imo signals the end of this project, considering all the effort put int him


I think spending 50m£ on Lemar is much less of a gamble than spending 100m+ on Mbappe. I actually wouldn’t be surprised at all if Mbappe was a flop. Just look at Renato Sanchez at Bayern for example.


Not under Wenger.. If he was from our academy, he may flop eventually.. but he’s not.. and he’s not signing for the academy.. Even if he flops, he has age on his side to be a diamond in the rough..

Mbappe at all cost.. He’s goal oriented(meets set goals) and has drive and wherewithal..


We can’t get Mbappe.. We CAN get Lemar. So…


None of these guys who are coming to end of their contracts are irreplaceable. If they don.t want to sign new deals then get the best price possible and replace them. Sick of the ungrateful attitude being shown by these players.


We are being messed about by quite a few players. Hope it doesn’t screw up our transfer window.


True.The ox and Sanchez think they’re messi-type players. £80 mil from man shitty and about £40 from Liverpool for the two will do it

Daniela 9

About all the comparisons with Jack, I think he has shown flashes of true big club class when fit and he is coming into his prime years now. So that’s one thing to keep in mind. The other is John “Still a Cunt” Terry. He bled blue and white for twenty years and then left money on the table to finish his career with a club that couldn’t hurt them. Despite still being a cunt, that kind of dedication and commitment is exceedingly rare these days, and something I see in Jack. I wouldn’t throw him away just yet.

My wig smells cheesy

That’s utter bullshit! Jack wanted to go out on loan rather than fight for his place at the club, according to you, he loves. Never come onto this platform with anything positive to say about Jo*n Te*ry. It’s disgusting and disrespectful to all right minded individuals


You don’t police this forum, telling people what they can and can’t say.

My wig smells cheesy

Like you just have?


I didn’t tell someone they can’t say something. Mine was an observation, not a command: you are not the moderator of the comments section.

uncle D

Announce Terry


Terry is a cunt


And that is all the announcement he needs.


I agree that he wanted to go out on loan and not fight for his place. But maybe because he had been injured for so long he felt it was in his own interest to play as much as he could to get back to being a full-time professional footballer and being match fit.
I don’t think that is too much of an issue, and even having an average season isn’t bad. The important thing was to play the full season and see if he could maintain a decent standard.
Although he did get injured again at the end of the season, he still provides a useful option, even if it is off the bench.

Why get rid of him when you could could allow his contract to run down, and challenge him at the start of the season to win a new contract by showing it on the pitch.
If he disagrees, (why would he? If he’s as bad as many people seem to think, he wouldnt be earning the same type of wages at another club) then it would be best for everyone involved to sell up and secure the best price possible.

Why not challenge the guy?

crazy gunner

The problem with the ox is a minor one he has done nothing to make any arsenal fans believe that he is genuinely a 1st team player….. a squad player for AFC is the best he can do at the moment unless he has a break out season and hold down a spot in the 1st team….he is good at running with the ball and that’s all..he should look at lemar and ask himself why am I here and AFC are going after that 21yr old from monaco?

Injuries have played their part but apart from a handful of games in 6yrs what has he really done…his stats are truly shameful for a top player and I don’t mean any disrespect..for most of his career it has been walcott who has been keeping him on his arse..and apart from sentiments most fans believe walcott is not good enough to be playing in Arsenals first team…just food for thought for him..


Sadly professional football players don’t do much thinking unless they’re Per.
They let their agents do all their thinking for them and whisper it into their ears like a succubus would.


He convinced me he has the quality to be our starting right wing back (not a knock on Bellerin; they’re both good enough).

determined culture

enough of all these delays in contract bull- ultimatum to sanchez (off to mancs for 50-60m), ozil (of to who-knows-where), ox (off to liverpool drive price up to 35 or sucker mancs to come in with a bid).
off with players who are not ultimately good enough- gibbs, theo, jack, debuchy, jenks, perez, campbell


I think we need a new number 8 regardless of what happens with the Ox.

I’ll be amazed if Ramsey remains fit enough to play half the games this season and his form can be very sporadic.

Elneny and Coq are just not good enough to be the backbone of a midfield two, not in a title winning team anyway.


Would be a mistake to wait.

Firstly Ox is to me better utility for us out wide.

Secondly the sort of ability we need in midfield is not what Ox provides. We need someone who can retain the ball IMO. Ox can carry the ball up the vertical with pace but is not as nuanced in more static environment.

I think the addition of a second wide man is also being somewhat held up by contract issues with Ox. Wenger will quite obviously prefer to nail down Chambo before he pens either Mahrez or Lemar.

If that leaves Ox looking at midfield as one of his primary options, behind Ramsey, Granit and Coquelin, it doesn’t make sense.

He has more opportunity out wide with either of Mahrez or Lemar (should Alexis go) and maybe Laczette or Welbeck also offering a role but the Ox obviously one of the favorites if in 4-2-3-1. Of course there is also Iwobi.

I think we were linked spuriously to Brozovic at Inter who has sold 30m worth of players to make up FFP ruling and are now looking to spend to rebuild their brand with new Chinese owners. Indeed it could be a potential destination for Alexis should he fancy Spaletti’s plans of rebuild.

Kongdogbia at Inter is also another interesting player who can add a different skill set/dimension to the midfield if there should be opportunity for a trade.

There are many issues up in the air beyond Ox’s motivation be it in the middle or out wide.


This doesn’t make sense to me. He wants to leave because we don’t see him as a ‘number 8’. But we wont buy a ‘number 8’ until his future is resolved? Work that out.

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

James’ opinion is that the club won’t go for an ‘number 8′ until Ox signs, and James’s other opinion is he doesn’t know if the Ox will sign or not. James’ doesn’t really know what the Ox or the club actually think about the situation, that’s why it’s not making sense.

uncle D


My wig smells cheesy


My wig smells cheesy


My wig smells cheesy

Get your own name mate.


I think James is bang on about those players not extending and I think we need to move on from them tbh
If they wanted to extend it would be done. The only one I have some confidence in is Ox and it’s apparent to most he isn’t a starting CM and that’s what he wants.

It really looks like that mid season internal team issue and infighting broke some of these guys apart. It’s sad but not a bad thing, we didn’t win a premiereship with them although we had the potential-proof being with the FA wins.

Onwards and Upwards.


Why has Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) not been brought up in the midfield discussion? There you have a complete midfielder with a good EPL experience for a decent price. Go for Sigurdsson to fill Cazorla´s spot.


There’s all this anger towards the club that these players have reached the end of their deals. This is the flip of the coin when you stop being a selling club. We no longer have to scrimp and save for the stadium, so we don’t panic sell players when they come to the end of the current deal. That’s the difference–we don’t have to sell until we’re ready, rather than the club being forced to move talent whenever the value is there, regardless of the hole that leaves in the squad.

Wenger has £100million to invest in the club each year, so he doesn’t have to sweat letting players play out their contract. The club has a decision to make on how it spends that money. It can use it to secure the services of its current top players at inflated wages (what Sanchez, Ozil, and Ox hope), or you can invest the money in players with a friendlier wage structure who you can tie down for a long-term future at the position (what the Mbappe bid represented). I think Wenger is in no rush to conclude these deals at inflated wages, but I don’t think that means we won’t pay them. The boss has a short-list of targets and if they come off, we let them go, and if they don’t, we pay up.

In the case of Ox, I think there are two things at play. The first is Wenger has to see someone step into the backup RWB role, because that’s hard to shop for with Bellerin so young. If he sees a youth player do well there, Ox is a little easier to move on. The second is that Ox is the most natural Alexis replacement in the squad, because of his direct dribble. I think our next buy is someone to sit behind Alexis (and play some games on the right with 4 at the back); Lemar fits the mold. Once that comes off, and Wenger sees Maitland-Niles succeed at RWB in Australia, Ox will be off.