Former Arsenal midfielder Michael Thomas believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a ‘great asset’ if he returned to the Emirates.
The Englishman came through Southampton’s academy before joining Arsenal for £15million ten years ago. His transfer seemed to echo that of Theo Walcott, who had made the same switch five years prior.
Oxlade-Chamberlain went on to make 198 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, scoring 20 goals. He helped the north London outfit to lift three FA Cups and three Community Shields.
He joined Premier League rivals Liverpool in August 2017 after becoming frustrated with his position under Arsene Wenger. The 28-year-old was regularly asked to play at wing-back. That’s despite his favoured position being in central midfield.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp convinced Oxlade-Chamberlain that he would get chances further forward at Anfield. The Reds parted with £35m to secure his services.
There have been rumours that the player could return to Arsenal. He has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool in recent seasons.
When asked about the transfer links, Thomas told Caught Offside: “Oxlade-Chamberlain made the choice to go and join a great club with great players.
“He has had his ups and downs, just like at Arsenal. What he needs is to stay injury free and get games in the centre of the park.
“He brings a lot of power and pace in there – you combine that with tactical know-how and experience, then he could be a great asset. I am a fan.”
Thomas was also asked about Arsenal’s academy setup. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have emerged into the first team under the guidance of Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal coach Ken Gillard recently revealed how Saka in particular can be a role model for young players to look up to. Former Gunners defender Per Mertesacker currently manages the club’s academy setup.
“I love the job Mertesacker is doing with the young players,” Thomas added. “Players are aware of what they need to do to improve, what it means to play for the club and how they can progress.
“It’s been great seeing the likes of Saka, Smith Rowe, [Folarin] Balogun and others are coming through, getting new contracts, and looking like being a big part of Arsenal’s future. This just shows the rest of the academy that if they listen and work hard they will get a chance.”
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Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette is wanted by Everton and West Ham, as per French outlet Jeunes Footeux.
The 30-year-old will be available for free next summer as a new deal cannot be agreed. He apparently wants a new challenge away from north London.
Everton are looking at the Frenchman as a potential replacement for Richarlison. French giants Paris Saint-Germain want to sign the goalscorer.
West Ham, meanwhile, are yet to replace Sebastien Haller, who joined Ajax for £20m in January. That has left David Moyes with just Michail Antonio as an out-and-out striker.
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