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Should Saints Go For Alex Oxlade Chamberlain From Liverpool ?
Tuesday, 28th Jun 2022 09:17

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain left Southampton 11 years ago, but could he now return to St Mary's and look to end his career where it started with a flourish, with his contract at Anfield entering it's last year.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain left St Mary's under a little bit of a cloud, back then his agent was his Father former England player Mark Chamberlain and so the rumour goes, back in AOC'as breakthrough season in 2010/11 as Saints pushed for promotion from League One, his father approached then Saints Chairman/CEO Nicola Cortese to discuss a new deal, hinting that if his sone was offered what was quite a reasonable wage, then he would be willing to sign a new deal.

Our former Chairman apparently told Chamberlain snr that he did not come in and demand terms, that if a new contract was to be offered then Cortese himself would dictate the price.

Mark Chamberlain allegedly then replied that his sone would now not be signing a new deal and would be seeking pastures anew and the rest they as they say is history.

What is true is that after sustaining an injury at Charlton in March 2011 AOC would make only one more appearance that season, on the final day against Walsall when promotion was sealed, but was it his injury that kept him out for 7 weeks or had the issues his father had had with the club played a part.

Oxlade Chamberlain headed to Arsenal within a year he had played a part in the Premier League squad and ended the season winning an England cap, his wages at the Emirates were said to have tripled after achieving certain appearance and England capped based trigger points in his contract and of he would have been on around seven times the £8k or so his father asked Cortese for, that is if rumour is to be believed.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, Oxlade Chamberlain has certainly achieved a lot in his career, but in many respects it has followed the path of Theo Walcott, in that he has never quite played as many games as he should have due to injury and never quite reached the heights he should have.

In the 11 seasons he has played since leaving St Mary's he has started just 110 games in the Premier League, plus another 116 off the bench, scoring just 19 goals.

These figures are roughly consistent aside from when he missed almost an entire season.

Now he is at a crossroads at Liverpool, he is entering the last year of his contract at Anfield, but by the end of the season he was becoming surplus to requirement, he was fit for most of the season, but in the Premier League he started just 9 games, plus another 8 off the bench giving him just 787 minutes of football in the league.

Only four other regular outfield members of the Liverpool squad played less than this last term, highlighting just how competitive the midfield ranks are when fitness issues aren't a huge concern.

In Liverpool's last 13 games he played not a minute of Premier League football, he was an unused sub in 5 of these games, but alarmingly for him he didn't even make the squad for the other 8 games, although during this period he was on the bench in all of the Champions League games.

So it seems his time at Liverpool could be running its course and with Liverpool about to complete the signing of Fabio Carvallo from Fulham, in many respects a younger version of AOC it could be about to end.

The player himself has to make a decision and that is whether to see out the last year of his contract, a decision that will earn him money but see him play little football or to make a move.

He will turn 29 in August so there is still a few years left in him, but he perhaps has to accept that it will not be at a top top club.

If he does go then there will be no shortage of clubs interested, Newcastle united may or may not be depending on how they are setting their targets this summer and with the unlimited pot they have, they may see AOC as below the standards they are looking for.

Everton have also been mentioned, if only because they always are, but "Moving Across The Park" as they say on Merseyside rarely happens and a player who does so often finds himself alienated by the fans of the club he has left and not accepted by those of who he has joined.

Ex Liverpool player and now pundit Danny Murphy has had this to say in the media about the Oxlade Chamberlain situation claiming that the player should prioritise football over money.

I think the amount of years that he spent not playing regular football would mean that his priority is football now and if that means going to a club with a lesser name then that’s what he should do... He’s got phenomenal ability and he should’ve done so much more in his career."

Murphy further added that a move to either Everton or Southampton would be beneficial for Oxlade-Chamberlain's game.

"We’ve seen glimpses of him in the Liverpool shirt where he’s been brilliant. If he can stay fit I think he would be a great addition for someone,"

"I don’t think he’d do it (join Everton because of the rivalry with Liverpool), but I’m sure (Frank) Lampard would like having him around across the park. Maybe even somewhere like Southampton where he (Oxlade-Chamberlain) started his career where he can play and enjoy his football and be the main man.

"I really like him, I like watching him play, I like the dynamism he’s got, I like his energy. I hope he goes somewhere where he’s going to play every week and we don’t see him sitting on the bench somewhere just to get an extra 10 or 20 grand a week."

Danny Murphy is not everyones cup of tea as a pundit, but he does speak some sense here and whilst it should be noted that the rumour mill has yet to start turning on Alex Oxlade Chamberlain's future, it is a reasonable overview by Murphy, does he stay at Anfield for another year for the money or does he look to finish his career with a flourish.

Some Saints fans will point to Theo Walcott as evidence as to why we should not go for AOC, but when he arrived at St Mary's on loan two years ago, Walcott was 2 1/2 years older than Oxlade Chamberlain is now.

Alex is still only 28, he will turn 29 in August and there is a big difference in Premier League terms between a player just turning 29 and one that had turned 31 six months earlier.

The potential stumbling block of course would be money, from a transfer fee perspective, Liverpool would be looking to get the player off the wage bill, a realistic fee would be somewhere a little over £15 million toward the £18 million mark, this is the type of fee ex Saints Loanee Minamino is going to Monaco for and he was ahead of AOC in the pecking order in the final months of the season.

The real stumbling block would be wages, as Murphy says, does the player hang on at Liverpool playing little part for an extra pay day, he is said to be on a little over £100 k a week, this is the figure that Saints were willing to pay Danny Ings last summer to get him to sign a new deal, so it is not beyond our capabilities, but it is a big outlay.

If it was to be a permanent deal, Saints could though negotiate a sum a little lower than this amount and add in performance & appearance related bonus's

I suspect though that the outcome for Liverpool will be a loan move for the player, that is unless Liverpool are willing to offer him a sweetener to leave Anfield permanently.

So the final two questions are whether Saints as a club would want him and whether the player himself would want to come.

Both are difficult to answer, from one perspective AOC is just outside the usual age parameters that the club sets for signings, having said that they broke those for Theo Walcott and there are also questions about his injury record, although last season he had no issues to speak of.

Is he a player that we need ? the answer is that yes a player of his calibre would make a statement about our ambition and also to the fans, the club are tweaking their strategy and that is said to include having some more experience in the squad.

The only real question mark is how many central midfielders do we need, if we were to get AOC then surely we would not need Matteuz Svanberg, from this perspective Saints do not have the time to wait and haggle with both the player and Liverpool.

Would Alex Oxlade Chamberlain want to return to St Mary's ? The answer there is their is no reason why not, he left under a cloud, but that cloud is no longer at the club, like any player he will want to play for a club that could achieve something, if he is not going to one of the so called Big Six, maybe Seven with Newcastle, then he might as well be at any of the next 9-10 clubs.

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IanRC added 09:31 - Jun 28
No thanks.

darthvader added 09:41 - Jun 28
We probably should buy him but we wont as we wont pay the fee or the wages . He will go to Newcastle i expect as they are hoovering up any players available and get masdive wages for sitting on the bench

WestSussexSaint added 10:12 - Jun 28
Forget the past in terms of how he left as that was years ago and tbh why shouldn’t he look to play at a higher level when his career was developing.

In the matches I have seen him play I think he has the skills to offer us something different in the number 10 positions and we have been crying out for that creativity which is lacking in the current players.

I do not think he will come to us though. I doubt Liverpool will be that bothered by a transfer fee but wages are likely to be an issue for us. Plays he simply doesn’t fit the moneyball approach the club are aligned to now.

saintmark1976 added 10:38 - Jun 28
Why not go the whole hog and make an offer for the original “ Sick Note” Darren Anderson? After all he’s only 56.

highfield49 added 10:48 - Jun 28
In my view he's probably a better player than any of our current mid fielders. Money shouldn't be that much of an issue now that Forster is off the books. Move on Long, Walcott and any of several other low contributors and a reasonable wage offer could be made. The biggest problem, should he be willing to come back to the club, is length of contract because the high intensity game isn't kind to ageing legs. Maybe a deal whereby we get him on loan with the offer of a shorter term contract agreed next summer if things work out?
I'm hoping that Svanberg has already already agreed a contract and Bologna are going to accept a realistic fee because, as you've said Nick, we can't afford to haggle with the new season so few weeks away.

MSB added 10:54 - Jun 28
Get Him qquick

andoverpedro added 10:56 - Jun 28
i would get him if it was a sensible fee or have him on loan for the season with a view getting a permanant deal at the end of when he is a free agent, but need to offload a couple first like walcott, and maybe redmond or dnepo to release the wages to pay him .

stedje added 11:37 - Jun 28
Yes. Would surely be an upgrade.

DellBoyWally added 12:47 - Jun 28
NO! NO! NO! What do we want him for?
First, there is a very good reason he doesn't get on the pitch at Liverpool: He ain't good enough!! And not having injury problems over the past 12 months? Well, if you ain't playing you won't pick up injuries! In the system we play (and Liverpool copied!) he'll be out for weeks after a couple of games. And he's another of the type of player we have in excess - fancy footwork, no end product.
Need a number 10? Why? Play Stuey Armstrong there; his best and favoured position, where he had great success at Celtic and played there for Scotland last game and scored 2 goals.
We don't need a CM, Livramento will be wide right midfield and we already have a surplus of trash in left midfield.
With the new formation for the coming season 4-3-3 or (with Stuey at No 10) 4-3-1-2 swithching to 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 or even 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2 as required there is no place for him.
We will have money coming in from sales - Badnarek next? JWP to WHU? - with around £80m we can be more selective than opting for another almost-made-it acadamy player.

On another point - why is AdamA being touted for loaning to the Championship? What good will that do him as a player? We know he can do it there and it won't get him experienced in the PL. We saw CheA improve in year 2 (slightly) so Adama should be starting for us. I think he's a more natural scorer than CheA so we could see some net-bulging (at the right end!!) If he gets the opportunities I see 15 goals from him this season

ElijahK added 13:46 - Jun 28
Has everyone forgotten how Walcott turned out? As many people said very similar things regarding him, to how they’ve reacted to this, and look how much of a waste he was. Yet for Chamberlain, he’ll probably want just as much for wages, but we won’t be getting him for free, and would probably have to pay a hefty price for him.
And not only that, but is the one position where we don’t really need many more players, as defensive midfielder wise we’ve got Romeu and Diallo, and for box to box we’ve got JWP, Smallbone or pulling Armstrong to that role. So unless we’re gonna sell one of Prowse/Romeu or change our usual formation, then he won’t be playing much even if he is decent.
As this transfer is something that not only do we not need, but also something that will end up no different to how Walcott did, and many people will want him gone by the end of the season.

So u less we wanna end up with yet ANOTHER overpaid, old, overrated player that will spend most of his time here on the bench, then it’s certainly a no from me,

felly1 added 15:47 - Jun 28
No thanks, other big time Charlie coming here in cruise control to scoop up a 80/100k salary from a club mug enough to to pay that.
We want ambitious players out to prove themselves not busted flushes.

DellBoyWally added 16:33 - Jun 28
I see Gareth Bale went for finance over football!!

wrathoftazz added 19:03 - Jun 28
Bringing back Theo worked well lol... I think I'll pass on Ox... we need new, young players, not ones who stitched us up and is at the end of their playing time

Block8 added 12:24 - Jun 29

Peterx added 10:28 - Jun 30
Just to pick up on one of the comments above, I agree that Adam A should be going nowhere.

With 5 subs and his pace we can afford to have him play a Shane Long type role of running hard till half time and making a nuisance of himself even if he does not score and then get someone else on.

Also I just feel that he is going to come good at some stage and start banging them in.

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