Wenger reveals why he sold ‘tapped up’ Oxlade-Chamberlain


Arsene Wenger spent the summer telling everyone that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a player he wanted to keep at Arsenal, yet in the final week of the window sanctioned a £40m move to Liverpool.

The England international still played at Anfield, despite having told the manager he wanted to leave, and disappointed – as did most other Arsenal players on the day.

The Frenchman spoke about his decision to sell him, and said it was a question of having to get some money in with so many players in the final year of their contracts.

“Today in the Premier League, you have 107 players who go to the final year of their contract. In that, in every club, some are players that the clubs do not want to extend, and some are players that the clubs want to extend but don’t agree for financial reasons.

“And we have both sides: we have players we do not want to extend, and we have players we wanted to extend, where we could not find an agreement. So at some stage that means that every time you have to quantify the loss of income.

“And at the end of the day, you decide, ‘OK, we can do it for two or three, but not for four or five.’”

Wenger also suggested that Oxlade-Chamberlain had been tapped up by Liverpool, although stopped short of saying that was an influence on his performance in the 4-0 defeat.

“You sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity,” he said.

“Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out?

“You are not naïve enough to think that will not happen. Have they been tapped up? Of course. But on the day of a game? I don’t think so, I hope not. But it’s inevitable.

“If I am a football player, I can perform even if Liverpool is in my head. I don’t think that should stop you to perform.

“Did it? I think he was not worse than any other player on the football pitch. I don’t want to go into individual cases, I just think in general.

“It’s not the way to work and it’s uncomfortable. Every single manager would agree that it’s time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half out and half in.”

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86 Comments on "Wenger reveals why he sold ‘tapped up’ Oxlade-Chamberlain"

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Ridiculous to start him as RWB in these games if he knew he was likely to be sold.
Even more so, when you consider his outspoken desire to seek regular football at CM.


The more ridiculous thing from Arsene is trying to shoe-horn the OX into the line-up when we had a better right wing back in the name of Bellerin being played out of position as a result.

Arsene is not naive to think that players are not being tapped up right next to the window closure, but he is naive to play those players in games when we have better personnel available.

That’s more baffling, and that’s what Arsene should be asnwering. Not if Ox was tapped up or not!

David C

It’s not as if we bought a beast-like player perfectly suited to playing on the left or anything….

Problem with Wenger is he is the coach and general manager/technical director. Sometimes those roles contradict each other. As the GM, he wants to keep Ox so he plays him. If he was just the coach, no chance in hell you start a want away player. Just dumb, right?

nimble foot

Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Hector and Ox at RWB split the honors. The Ox is better at attack and Hector is better in defending I can’t say one is definitely better than the other. Perhaps Hector has the potential to be infinitely better but until he starts getting some nice crosses in, some cutting in and assisting like Kolasinac last season in Germany and even goals, I won’t say he is better than The Ox 🐂

Heavenly Chapecoense

Ox isn’t an intelligent player. I don’t rate him.

Brian cannon

agree. how many assists last season? 3! not enough for an attacking player. 40m thank u very much I say. BUT why have we spent it on marez

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He ran around chasing Citeh players a lot today. Didn’t catch any, but… you know…. perfect English player…. ran and ran and ran


Yes but a major part of being a wingback is actually defending.


Should have played Debuchy who can defend better and both OX and Bellerin

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I think Liverpool just played him as a right winger. Seems like he’ll never be a CM.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

….that would be one of those right wingers that play on the left wing, of course 🙂


We can get upset at the lack of loyalty to a club that has developed him but in the end he wasn’t a top top player and we get a good price.

Only disappointment is that we didn’t reinvest the cash straight away.


I don’t know if we can even get upset about a lack of loyalty, this is football today, simple as.

Reality check

No club should feel hard done by if a player refuses to sign the new deal. They don’t think twice when they want to get rid of a player. The whole world knew how badly, the late Rocky Rocastle wanted to stay.
A club’s loyalty is only to its own interest, owners and stake holders run the show, rest is just jibberish. We can’t complain of tapping up as we have in the past, regularly raided Barca, Southhampton and other other academies in france and England. We at the very least got good money for Ox imagine how sick in the stomach Schalke must be feeling after losing Sead for free, because that’s how we’ll feeling come next summer.

nimble foot

I can’t say I totally agree with you @Reality Check but there’s some fine points in that essay

Reality check

Cheers nf.. it’s my opinion of course, others might see these situations differently.
As a fan, I’d like to believe that our loyalty should count for something when players decide their future, as some of us get emotionally invested but TBF, even fans’ loyalty is not so different from the club’s. It doesn’t matter how hard working and loyal a player is, we just have our favourites. We are automatically attracted to the best players. The hegemony works from attackers, mainly goal scorers at the top while goalies and fullbacks at the bottom. Defensive players have to be flawless, have to work harder and longer for our attention than attackers.
Fans these days want value for their time and money, they are more loyal to who entertains them more, gives them more satisfaction.

Faisal Narrage

You don’t even need to go as far back as Rocky, just look at Chez’s reaction at leaving. It was clear he wanted to stay, but Wenger se him as expendable (even though he was arguably our best keeper on the books).

And us fans can scream loyalty as much as we like, but we’re no better. Couple of injuries and we were alread asking Jack to be out of the door.

Reality check

Exactly my sentiment in my post above. This myth of loyalty, When you break it all down, it’s sometime unfair and very self-centeted on everyone’s part.

Andy Mack

How did we ‘Tap-up’ players at Barca, Southampton etc?
I think you’re confusing ‘Tapping up’ with ‘buying’ a player…

Mick Malthouse

I don’t blame any player wanting to leave the rudderless, creaking ship that is Arsenal these days. So sad.


3 Fa cups in 4 years does not make us rudderless and creaking. We have some problems but your negativity is ridiculous.

Sebastian Rooks

It may not be rudderless but the captain certainly has a severe case of lettuce wrist

The arsenaut

Not a bad achievement, but that’s not enough to paper over the lack of consistency in league and ucl performances in recent times. For context WIGAN and SWANSEA have won it not long ago, they could rest on such a laurel, not the Arsenal.


Neither Wigan or Swansea won it 3 times in 4 years. Nobody is blind to the problems that we have at the club but credit where credit is due.

Andy Mack

When did Swansea win it?


Exactly this, you can’t use the FA cup as a barometer for success if you’re a top club. It’s a great trophy to win but it’s not THE trophy to win

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That’s THE trophy that only ONE team in the whole of Europe can win each year? The richest teams win that. Arsenal isn’t rich (not like the billionaire boys) but it is one of the most valuable clubs, which is why we got bought by an investor with no interest in the game.

Rich people have money to spend and buy the BIG trophies.

Valuable clubs have real estate and nice facilities.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I’m sure that’s what Chelsea were thinking last May. I wonder whay they sent their best players to the game.


In the very recent words of Jamie Vardy: “It isn’t the premier league, is it? So we’re all right with that I think,”

nimble foot

Much like Mourinho saying the community shield was meaningless when he lost it to us managing Chelski but was harping on about winning his first trophy when he won it with United

Laughing Stock

Chief Bollock Talker doing his thing once again

Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

The question isn’t why he was sold. Everyone agrees it was a good piece of business. The question is why you played him away to the team you sold him to just a few days later, a team you say tapped him up. Take some fucking responsibility.

Andy Mack

Was it clear that he wanted to go to Liverpoo! or that they were even interested in him? or did the rumours of $iteh and Chavski wanting him seem like a more likely destination for him?


Yes it was blatantly clear he wanted to go to Liverpool

Andy Mack

No it wasn’t. Equally it wasn’t even clear that they were going to put an offer in for him (or Chavski or $iteh)..


What makes our players tapped is not just Ox, it’s also the decision by “whoever it is” to play player out of position and bench the better striker. Liverpool ain’t tier 2 club in Australie that we played in preseason.

Mongolian Gooner

I always wanted to see Ox become the player that his talent suggests he can be. He could be amazing. Now I want him to stagnate and stay at his erratic level. Couldn’t bear to see a player leave Arsenal only to blossom.

Mr. G

Great price for an ordinary player who despite being an attacker scored 9 league goals in six seasons.

To put it in perspective, Laurent Koscielny scored 15 league goals in those six seasons.

Das Neck

didnt we have 140 mil not long ago and also earned since then? Chatting the most amount of Sp*rs right there

Early Arsenal

When you watch the interview it sounded all quite reasonable with a number of different questions getting the different answers. When it’s all the different answers are put together above it produces something that reads more like a it was one long rambling mess.
Regardless playing Chamberlain was surely one last failed attempt at turning his head and getting him to sighn. If it was thought impossible that his mind could be changed then playing him was a nonsense. If the truth is that he was played to maximize his transfer fee I wouldn’t be surprised but I would be vexed.


A big shame Ox couldn’t fulfil his potential here, especially considering our own midfield issues. Will be interesting to see how he does with Klopp, in a system and style that I think would suit him (and many of our own players for that matter). Telling as well that he left for less money which says a lot about the state of our club today. It’s one thing for a player to leave for a big payday or a better chance of winning trophies, but to leave for development is really a kick in the nuts


Ox was tapped up long ago. This article from April… http://www.anfieldedition.uk/2017/04/oxlade-chamberlain-done-claims-graeme-kelly/


No Wenger…you simply should not have started both him and hector. I would’ve ideally started Bellerin and Kolasinac. These days it’s so annoying to hear this guy’s explanations. We had no business giving such a listless performance. It’s crazy.


“tapped up”
“whinge whinge whinge, not my fault, whinge” AW

Lord Bendnter

Is this all part of one huge, 5hr-long of BeIN Sports interview, or is it multiple separate interviews?

*I don’t even know why I want to know or what I would do with such knowledge.

Lord Bendnter

Curiosity skinned the cat

Crash Fistfight


Lord Bendnter

I have a dark mind

Dan Hunter

I think you’re barking up the wrong side of the bed

Dan Hunter

If the pope shits in the woods does he make a sound?

Ashish Chandra

All English wingers are the best instinctive players in the world. But try to put them in a system, and they are worst players in the world, cause their footballing brain is smaller than Ostrich.
SWP, Ox, Sterling, Zaha, Lennon, Pennant, they all look world class when running at a defense, but if you ask them to pass or cross, God help you…


“In every club, some are players:

1) that the clubs do not want to extend

2) that the clubs want to extend but don’t agree for financial reasons”

There’s a 3rd type which he “forgot” to mention, where the players don’t want to stay because they think they’re either not developing, or not going to win anything soon.

What I wonder is if he knows about the 3rd type but doesn’t want to mention it to the media, or is oblivious to the fact and so detached from reality. We reaaaallly need a win the weekend.


Why oh why did you play him then?


How does he know there are 107 players out of contract in the EPL at the end of the season? Is there some sort of database? If so clearly they haven’t been filtering it down to just Arsenal players!


Shutting the transfer window before the start of season is, potentially, the first step to avoid this, but as things stand it’s not enough. Barcelona, for example, would still be able to unsettle players until Sept 1st.


What grates for me about this is that we should have had two quality RWBs competing for the same position. Just how it should be in a side that wants to win the prem and is in European competitions.

There are more that enough games to rotate and there was never any need for Ox and Hector to be in the field at the same time (especially when we have both Montreal and Kola on the opposite flank).

But instead of thriving off the competition for places, we’re unable to keep either RWB happy, so much so that they both wanted to leave the club. I don’t believe that Ox left to play CM at Liverpool, he just wanted to get out.

Now we’re left with Bellerin who wants to be elsewhere and little or poor back up.


I think it’s harder for OX to get into the LFC first team currently than the Arsenals. He has Mané, Coutinho, Salah, Llalana, Firmino up front with Henderson(Captain), Can and Keita soon to arrive and I like Ox, but realistically he isn’t a better footballer than the players are in those positions. I’m not suggesting he will not play but his dream of CM will not happen unless there are massive injuries and he’s not good enough to displace Mané and co up top. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he’s used to cover the absence of Clyne…


I think this totally misses the point. Yes, he probably wouldn’t displace those players as he is, but he’s gone to improve and fulfil his potential. The question is will an improved Ox get in the team. Also, Can is in the last year of his contract, Coutinho will surely be gone in the next year or so and Lallana turns 30 this season. He’s closer to the first team than you think


How can you want a club to sign 2 players to new contracts 100-15K playing the same position?

Monreal is over 30 and on his last contract with the club while SK was brought in to be the present and future at the 1 position of LB/LWB.


Will it not continue to happen in the January window also though?


I will always have respect for Wenger, but his biggest flaw is believing everyone shares his level of integrity. Ox being tapped up definitely effected his performance and possibly others.

With that said, I was happy to see Ox go. He is a decent threat on his day; it’s the other 80% of the time that’s an issue.


But you are naïve enough to throw the entire team spirit into jeopardy by shoehorning a want-away player into a position that he’s frankly not good enough at away so that the player who did make a long term commitment can play left wing back. Everything and everyone is the problem but Arsene right?

Clive St Helmet

I hate being caught half in, half out.

Godfrey Twatsloch

It’s all in the thrust of the hip.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Just saw a clip of him on FB giving it large about life at Liverpool set to horribly upbeat music. Disgusting! Unfollowed him of course.


no problems selling him but re-invest that money in a better player such as Mahrez


TSCHÜß in Deutsch to Ox. ..COYG

The arsenaut

Tapped up? why? because they are Liverpool?…
…more like a Ox “tap out”

Faisal Narrage

““If I am a football player, I can perform even if Liverpool is in my head. I don’t think that should stop you to perform.”

Not sure if Wenger is being wilfully naive or just intentionally obtuse. Maybe in Wenger’s head it wouldn’t affect him, but it would affect 99% of any individual. Wanna see a staff’s most unproductive day? Just check their last day at work.

Faisal Narrage

As for tapping up players….

Anyone wanna hazard a guess as to why e were so confident in signing Lemar? Or how we knew about Suarez’ clause?

I think Wenger is being rather disingenuous here; I don’t imagine Liverpool “tapping up” no more than we do; which is talking to intermediaries on behalf of the players representatives. It’s not directly against the rules, but its morally questionable. But to complain about that when we do it is a bit hypocritical.


Strange comment that you can’t keep players half-in. What about Sanchez and Ozil? A lot of our players no longer find playing for Arsenal an attractive proposition. Only a new owner with greater investment will change that.


40m for a player who scored 9 goals in 6 seasons.. arsene you legend haha..

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...
He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

For someone who is a deep thinker, our manager doesn’t half come out with the sort of clap trap the media love to smack us in the face with.


I been saying this for ages.The OX is typical English player over rated again he been at the club for over 6yrs and didn’t do shit he can fuck off as far as i care i don’t.move on stop all this and that.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Yes. I hoped for him to stay and carry on building on the form he showed last season but he had ideas above his station and we were rewarded handsomely for it. So that’s that. Done and dusted. No need to mull over him anymore. He’s a Liverpool player now.


What we should have done was asked him to put pen to paper when Gnabry was asking for better terms two summers ago.

If he did not sign, we should have then given better terms to Gnabry.


demands to play at CM. leaves Arsenal for less money at Liverpool. goes to England’s national team and plays where? RWB. will most likely play RWB for Liverpool too. I don’t buy the position or lack of contract offer as the reasons for leaving.


Bla bla bla wah wah wah. Wenger has lost ALL credibility with me. When he does these press talks he’s either lying, spinning a story, or spouting some complete delusional crap. Whichever it is, it’s not worth listening to, or making any educated conclusions about.

As it relates to this story, the Ox just wanted away from here. He wanted away to a place where he can can coaching and development. He is the canary in the coal mine. Good luck to him. Delusional Wenger was just trying everything possible to keep him here all summer. And he failed. Like he will fail to get us into Top 4 and will fail to deliver a successful season for us.

Brian cannon

we made the ox from nothing and he is still only average and not sure he will ever be good enough to be an Arsenal regular. He will play more at Liverpool and suit their direct long ball style with his pace. I understand him losing faith in Wenger as I think we all have. we should have sold ozil and Alexis too.


Reiss Nelson gonna be 1 hell of a player..he is no fluke,not one of those🐃overrated English players, he is pure talent..d

California Gooner

Some of my fellow Gooners are saying Ox should’ve remained loyal to the club “that developed him” and say “they don’t rate him” or insult his footballing intelligence – You can’t have it both ways. The thing is this: we should applaud Ox for wanting to improve as a footballer(Klopp is miles ahead of Wenger in that dept). And he’s taking leas money. Do we want him to be Walcott 2.0 collecting a huge wage for nothing? Being 29 yrs old and still speaking of “potential”? He says he wants to be the next Gerrard. Ox knows what that entails. If he dedicates himself to that goal than I say fair play to him and good luck.


#silentstanout. Nothing will change until we have new ownership. This guy runs the club like his walmart heiress family runs Walmart. Wenger biggest fault is thinking he is sticking up for the club by staying. He needs to air the dirty laundry and tell everyone the constraints to learning to live without having no money, financial backing from the club.
Look at #silentstan American sports franchises and Walmart and see the same. New manager will equal same problem of no money.

Andy Mack

It’s not going to happen.
There is no reason for him to sell unless he gets a silly money offer and that won’t happen.


This was a horrendously managed situation, luckily we got silly money in the end but another shambolic piece of evidence as to how we conduct transfer and contract negotiations..

He went from being a squad player to someone to build the team around when he had told us he was not signing and wanted out..we should have flogged him much earlier and reinvested the money, but alas we’re Arsenal


If he thought playing him would persude him to stay then that one fact tells me Wenger has lost the plot he treats the players like children has too much respect for them but they dont think he’s the father figure, players need pressure on them to perform, its just too easy at Arsenal when Wenger signed another contract a piece of Arsenal died in me for all the brilliance and memories, he is now on the slippery slope there is no turning back, he loves the club but the return love is dwindling fast if you think its messy at the moment wait till next season 6 more players on one year contracts, Alexis gone i think he has already in his mind, Ozil won’t sign a new contract evident in his latest PR release, who wants to come to a club who’s just making the financial numbers and has no real ambition to win and stamp there authority, i would rather player give 100% every week and wear the shirt rather than tip tappy toe through brilliance one game and complete shite in others

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Watching what’s happening to Liverpool right this minute it’s clear to me that all of Arsenal’s problems can be put down to the bad luck of having Albatross Oxlade-Chamberlain hanging round our neck. Now he’s gone we are sure to become the best team in the world.

Yeah, OK, what I really mean is that unless something terrible happens against Bournemouth then the Ox is guaranteed to be having a much worse weekend than we are.

Serves Liverpool right. You get what you tap for.