Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain really all that?
In his time at Arsenal, he has barely put 6 games together, let alone 6 good games together.
He wants to leave because he wants to play central midfield, but would he get into the middle of the park for any top 6 side? No.
At Chelsea, he would be first choice right wing back, and provide cover for Hazard, Willian and Pedro. Pretty much the same as what he is at Arsenal. He is a player who thinks he is better than what he is. It would not surprise me if he is at Crystal Palace of West Ham within 3 years.
It is incredible to think that in the 6 and a bit years he has been at Arsenal, he has managed just one goal more than Laurent Koscielny. In fact, the list of top 10 goal scorers for the period that the Ox has been at Arsenal makes depressing reading:
Taking into account that of those above him, only Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey have played every season, it perhaps shows how little influence he has on games.
I wrote the below back April:
I questioned Shkodran Mustafi’s ability back in December. At the time he had no lost a single game at Arsenal which he had played in. I was mocked in the comments o nthe blog, on Twitter and Facebook. How could I be criticising a player who had yet to lose in an Arsenal shirt?
Well at the time I looked beyond the results of the team and was looking at the performances of the defence.
At the time, Arsenal had not kept a clean sheet for 10 games, with just 4 all season – 3 of which had Mustafi in defence, and the Mustafi / Koscielny partnership was conceding at a rate of a goal a game.
I ended the blog with;
Arsenal defensive frailties have become worse this season. Mustafi has solved one problem but created another.
4 months on and he was part of a centreback partnership against Crystal Palace that failed to make a single tackle. Two crude tackles in the 1st half meant he probably should have seen red. He was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Mustafi has played 17 games in 2017, Arsenal have conceded 31 goals. We have conceded more 3 or more goals on 7 occasions this calendar year. We have kept just 6 clean sheets. 3 of which have been in the FA Cup.
It is not just Mustafi’s fault. The entire defence from Bellerin across to Monreal has been shocking. But Mustafi has shown as huge technical issues which worry.
He tends to chase the ball. He is a poor judge of a high ball. His headers rarely reach a team mate. He dives in to tackles. He is beaten too easily.
I still think he will turn out to be a good player at Arsenal, but at £35,000,000 you would expect better performances than the Sunday League level ones he is putting in at the moment.
I have no issue getting read of substandard players like Mustafi and Oxlade-Chamberlain. My big issue is that we will not replace them