Wenger: Ox exit opens door for Nelson & Willock

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Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool will open the door for youngsters at Arsenal to make a first team breakthrough this season.

Despite failing to persuade the England international to stay at the Emirates, the boss says he wishes the midfielder all the best for the future after selling him for £40 million on transfer deadline day.

Putting a positive spin on the situation, the boss highlighted the opportunities that will now afforded to Reiss Nelson and Jo Willock in the season ahead.

The manager was asked if he thought Oxlade-Chamberlain had made a mistake in leaving the club, and said, “I wouldn’t call it like that, we wish him and wish him all the best and we’re thankful for what he’s done here.

“At the end of the day you make decisions, you choose one or the other one, we had to sell somebody.

“Overall, I believe that we are today in a strong financial situation as always, and we have a good enough squad to compete, and the fact doesn’t take anything away from the quality of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is a great player.

“But sometimes it opens the door for younger players like Nelson or Willock, or players who are in behind and get an opportunity that they wouldn’t get.”

When pressed on what exactly the Ox said to him in the meeting before his sale, Wenger refused to be drawn.

“There are still some secrets that have be respected, those are the conversations between players and managers,” he said.

 

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68 Comments on "Wenger: Ox exit opens door for Nelson & Willock"

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uhtred

Being realistic here, the ox has never set the world on fire with his performances so him leaving has defo given us a chance for a breath of fresh air and see what our youngsters can do. Just don’t play them as a wing back please wenger 😉

bidOnLard

Well it is a closure. Would have been worse if he had any really positive performancеs lately… Maybe it was best for all sides involved. Considering how many seasons we saw articles for Ox “maybe this is the season”, him and Pool are made for each other 😀

Easy as JVC

If Ox had stuck around longer he may have killed Nelson and Willock.

Bally

He seems like a nice enough guy, don’t think he could murder anyone

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

It’s always the quiet ones.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

He’s hardly quiet though, is he? Haha. Semantics aside, losing Ox has more to reflect poorly on our club management more than anything else. I’m very happy we haven’t broken our wage structure, and it seems that both the player and club wanted two very different things. The Ox is certainly entitled to put his career in the direction he wants–the timing of it lent to poor PR, and his unprofessional demeanor during the Liverpool added to it. I still believe that his conduct during that game was highly unprofessional, and if I were a manager, I would have taken him off the bench, or sold the player for that kind of nonsense. Would he have stopped the development of nelson and Willock? Who knows; they’re all ifs now, no matter how it plays out. This is just Wenger softening what seems like overt and errant mismanagement. He certainly is a class act.

naija gunner

Nelson has far better end product. Defensively he can put it in a shift too.

Dave M

So my two take aways from this are. We are loaded with cash. And Nelson or willock will play right back keeping bellerin in the left

para

Bellerin will be going home soon anyway trust me. ££££
So time to get replacements in already.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Unproven, and not fair to compare the two players (to either Ox or Nelson). I wouldn’t be surprised if his end-product diminished considerably (just like Ox’s and any other star youth), once he steps into the big-boy league.

Ponsonby Gooner

Genuinely curious as to how the ox will do with Liverpool

Arsene\'s Red Tie

He’ll lose the ball in the final third

watheende

Liverpool’s opponents will have more goalkicks than you can think of

Dave M

He’ll play one game in midfield and Klopp will see how much he turns it over and how he doesn’t have the positional know-how to play in midfield effectively and he’ll play the rest of the time down the right flank where he is most effective.

Reality check

Ox’s passing isn’t that bad as you’d expect from a professional footballer but a midfielder he’s not. He doesn’t have the mentality of a midfielder, never seen him putting a ball through for a goal which reflects in his assists numbers. His brain freeze’s and ball watching in defence has cost us points and loss of momentum many times.
ATM he is suffering from walcott’s mid career positional crisis. He’ll settle on right wing as an injury prone above average winger very soon and the narrataive will be liverpool have bought another Andy Carrol in panic.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

I think it’s unfair to judge him on his throughballs, really for lack of sample size more than anything else. His passing range is quite diverse, and even if he can’t slot one down the road for a no. 9, he has similar qualities to Eden Hazard (in that he likes to take on defenders in individual duels, to manipulate space on the pitch). Drawing out defenders in the middle will then create the space for slide-rule passes (aka Wilshere/Fabregas style). He is not nearly as instinctively decisive (and therefore not as good, imo) as any of the three aforementioned, but I think he has a great skillset for what he wants to do.

Vin Unleaded

His performance for England the other night?

Yeah, that.

Das Neck

mate, i was there. for both games. when he thinks to shoot, its like shredder turns up. KOWABUNGA MUTHAFUKKA

Tusikon

I think he’ll do fine once a decent mangaer will be there to guide him.
It feels like he barely made any progress at our club.

Loose_Cannon

I am as well, not sure why your comment is getting so many downvotes either. Maybe it’s easier for people here to just needlessly slate our ex players! He’s going to a team with a manager many here would rather have, with a style of football many on here would rather we played. It will be very interesting indeed

L\'Cham

“There are still some secrets that have be respected, those are the conversations between players and managers,”
Retire and write a damn book!

Jack

A lot of hype behind Nelson. Hopefully he’ll be this year’s Coquelin / Iwobi in terms of breaking into the team.

goongot

europa league may just be blessing in disguise for youngsters!! come on nelson…grab on ur chances and be our mbappe.

OdalGooner

You mean “we sell him to PSG for €250m next year” ? 😀
I want to see him play. Much more than many of our other players. Him and Iwobi seem like they should be given some chances. I love Iwobi. Not our best player at all, but he always makes something happen, and always creates danger. It’s probably not “just him” but also the situation and tactics when he’s playing, but he’s one of those players that don’t seem to just pass it sideways 200 times.
Play the young guns, Wenger. It’s also good for business! *looks disapprovingly at Kroenke*

caligunner

You mean we’ll sell him to Man City lol

Gooner McGoonFace

Chance for Nelson to be sure. Not so sure about Willock though.

Ozil\'s left foot

Willock looked great in that deep lying role. Very assured and showed strength, nothing to lose by giving the kid a chance. Lots of kids seems to be making waves at 17-19 why not these two. I think we should shift to a 4-3-3 for the personnel we have.

Alexis-Laca-Ozil
Xhaka-Ramsey-Coq
Hulk-Kos-Mus-Bell

No midfielder in the world will look good when exposed the way we expose Xhaka.

Sancheezy

Ozil should play deeper on the left with either Nelson or even Theo on the right.
Personally, Id still would like us to play two strikers up top woth Ozil behind them with either a back 5 or 4.

middlegooner

Makes a lot of sense to me, which is why i think wenger will not do it

Osi

Elneny for Coq

Moscool

The Ox played a couple of belters as wingback late last season but he’s another victim of Lead Singer Syndrome… And when the people who advise you only echo your own words, you know the rest.

majowaldinho10

This old man is classy. Despite and inspite critism he remains the best and professional manager in history. The way he conducts interviews is quite awesome.

Vedant

Being classy or winning major titles? Which one of those attributes would you want in a football coach?

Fuhgedaboudit l

Both would be nice!

Olar

If only he can conduct his team the same way, best and professional manager in history indeed. He’s gotten quite a few professional beatings too, and more of that to come..

Eduardo da Silvestre

The Ox was just one of the good guys.Period.lot’s of promise but he never delivered.he came,he saw,he left with a killer snapchap reputation

Oberon

I’m interested to see how Nelson does because from what I’ve seen he has ‘it’ to be a real difference maker. He is though only 17 so until he gets a run of games we’ll not know how far along he really is in his development. The Ox came to us at a similar age and showed a lot of promise but I can honestly say I didn’t see that much improvement from him.

gooner1981

The biggest fear I think, is to burn young players out physically. Their body’s still developing. Making the step up from youth teams can be difficult, especially with regards to physicality. Players are bigger, stronger and faster.

gunnerman

why do journalist ask stupid question when the know he is not going to answer that instead of asking really questions that the fans care abut like why did he play him against Liverpool when he knows he is going to sell him or why he put our two new signing on the bench, not what Ox said to him they all published in their papers what Ox said to Wenger unless they were making it up and now what to justify it.Please really questions or don’t fucking go there.

Oberon

true

Tanzanian Gooner

Exactly my thinking mate. No one has a gut to ask questions that matters.

Cliff Bastin

As the saying goes there’s no use crying over an ox that can’t make milk wait what

gooner1981

I don’t doubt the potential of Nelson and Willock- if anything, Willock could be the ‘internal solution’ to our central midfield. It feels though, like the silver linings excuse. Anyway, now we move on, and hopefully play with committed players, and especially players who aren’t playing out of position!

A different George

Read what he said–he was not making excuses. He said Chamberlain was a great player, and young players should try to make the best of the fact that he is gone. You can disagree about the Ox’s quality, or the prospects for our young players, but there’s no silver lining excuse, just an honest acknowledgement: “we had to sell somebody.”

Drew10

I am genuinely excited by what I’ve seen of Nelson so far. Faster and with more skill that the Ox but lacks the power at the moment. Ox was built like a middleweight boxer.

ChrisGoona

I have no issue with Nelson as backup RB. He looks a real talent. Not sure about Willock yet despite the rave reviews. Pretty sure Elneny, Wilshere and Coq will be ahead of him anyway.

caligunner

Backup RB? Player who has shown finishing qualities you want to put at backup RB.

John Ralphio

But what about the Jeff?

Tanzanian Gooner

Why journalists don’t ask meaningful questions like why the club changed its stance of not selling Sanchez on deadline day? Why he plays players out of position when everyone is almost available? What was a rationale behind starting Welbeck over Lacazette or playing Chamberlain who clearly wanted to leave or putting best Bundesliga LB of last season on bench? Why the midfield position was overlooked all summer? Etc.

ramgooner

“We had to sell somebody”. That shows the problem is not with Wenger. It’s with the board.

Das Neck

possibly. well definately. but there we had sanchez, ox, and ozil all in the same position regarding contracts. no one wants ozil, its seems. we need sanchez. and ox was going for 40 mill. id say losing all 3 next year was the main reason

Faisal Narrage

Did the board tell him to start Welbeck over our new striker? Or play our out of form RB on the left in place of last seasons best LWB?

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

OK, can we get back to playing a back 4 now?

Clockenddan

Nelson really excited me in pre-season, I’d love to see him slowly given a chance and breaking into the team. If he can pair his talent with consistency I see him as a real star of the future, very exciting player

Tusikon

Kinda reminds me of:

“I have been criticised for not hiring Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry. But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson,” he said.

Not that I think AOC is anything like Alonso in terms of quality, but oh man, that song is getting OLD.

Someone´s Something

“…we had to sell somebody.”

What did he mean by that? Why did he have to sell somebody?

Das Neck

either lose all 3 next year or sell one now mate. ox wanted out. sanchez wants out. no one wants ozil…

Nik

I swear to God, if he plays either one of them over Bellerin at RB or RWB I am going to lose my ….

Bob Le Dreamy

“Overall, I believe that we are today in a strong financial situation as always, and we have a good enough squad to compete, and the fact doesn’t take anything away from the quality of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is a great player.”

One sentence that sums the club up pretty well at the moment:
– strong financial situation as always – FUCK YEAH
– a good enough squad to compete – not exactly a great squad with a good chance of winning the league
– who is a great player – no he isn’t; Robert Pires was a great player; your powers of deduction are waning my beloved AW.

Oxs Bail

Now “we’re in a strong financial position”… This club really knows how to piss on our very expensive chips.

Loose_Cannon

I feel that many on here are making the same mistake Liverpool fans when they proclaimed that Jordan Ibe was already better than Raheem Sterling. Let’s just give these kids the time and space to develop, ok? Also, the fact that Wenger thinks Ox leaving opens the door for Nelson, nominally a winger, speaks volumes about why Ox left and his relationship with the manager

BringBackSeaman

Either this is a sign that we are going back to 4 at the back, or Nelson and Willock better het use to the idea that right wing back is as good as it gets for them

… ugh.

Rich

Yep let’s pin all our hopes on a couple of teenagers.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

All the best to ox! Thinks hes gonna play cm but theres cap henderson n emre can taking those spots. So hes gonna b back up to both of them at least. Looking at how salah and mane plays (fast wide wingers), it seems like ox gonna b back up on the wings as well, n get game time when they go off to african cup of nations while filling their home grown quota.
Just ask milner.
Imagine if he turned down 100k more a wk in london with chelsea to do the aame thing n play in the same positions in liverpool.

Wallab

Wenger was being very nice to a guy that stabbed him in the back while shaking his hand with a smile in his face! Truth is the kid made a big mistake. Wenger stood by while he missed 4 of the 6 years he was at the club. Anywhere else he would have been gone the first year. This kid believes that his new coach is one who believes in him and will give him everything he desires. Well, what happened? He is not getting anything near the 180k per week Wenger offered him and it appears he will be playing in the same position he did at Arsenal, so where are all those great deals his new manager supposedly offered him? Good luck kid, but it appears you have been snookered.

santori

Defo Nelson. He should be given an opportunity either as back up to Alexis in 4-2-3-1 or as wing back alternate to Kolasinac or Bellerin (with maybe Chambers also in the mix on left side)

Willock is interesting but I think it dangerous to throw someone so young into an area where experience counts (particularly in defensive positioning)

I still feel we should be trying Iwobi in the position with Jack also in the mix (Elneny as per usual from the bench as back up)

We did not address midfield sufficiently and it has been our achiles heel for 3 seasons now.

santori

Dissapointed with the Ox.

In truth we only have ourselves to blame for our own naivity.

When Gnabry was pushing for a spot, we should have forced the Ox to put pen to paper or Gnabry slots in.

Wenger tends toward being too sentimental.

After all is said and done, we gave the Ox PLENTY of leeway and for him to turn us down is very much letting us down.

That said, I think Wenger is OK to let him go because of the promise that Reiss brings. However as history has taught us time and again, it will be foolish to bank on the promise of youth to sustain performance.

I’m hoping Nelson gets a role either on the wings or as wingback but in truth (sans the predictably non starter Lemar deal), we are a bit tight with wingbacks without the Ox and even with Nelson a possibility.

I think Wenger should curb his other bad habit (if at all possible at this late age) and stop trying to convert Chambers into a Cback. This particularly as we also have Holding developing. Instead he should revert Calum back to his NATURAL position which he impressed with at Soton.

Calum is a fullback first and foremost. For all those who harp on about ‘pace’, well, Monreal isn’t the quickest either nor is Kolasinac (although there is that bulk)

I’m not sure if he can be as effective at wingback but at least if we do go into a 4-2-3-1, he should definitely feature as a LBack.

Lula

It’ll look crap on him if the Ox drastically improves at Liverpool. And it will send a clear message to the players that come through to replace him too. Arsene can only take you so far.

I don’t begrudge the Ox but he clearly left not for trophies or money but because he wasn’t up for the same old shit with the same manager and owner over and over. Its a good bit of business to get 40mill for him for sure. Let’s see if we actually spent it well… With the rate of inflation 40mill might be next to nothing by the next transfer window. The club may have anticipated this, but instead chose to end on a net profit. Well, maybe 40mill next summer will be like 20mill this summer.

It’d been nice if we eyed a replacement this summer. Sure we apparently tried to get Lemar but I’m not sure that quite makes up for it.

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