Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s bizarre contract clause explains limited minutes at Arsenal as the Gunners had to pay Southampton £10,000 every time the midfielder played 20 minutes or more
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Arsenal from Southampton in 2011
- But the 28-year-old failed to establish himself as a regular starter at the Emirates
- Arsenal had to pay Southampton £10,000 when he played 20 minutes or more
A bizarre clause in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract has explained the midfielder’s lack of game time at Arsenal.
The 28-year-old arrived at the Emirates from Southampton in 2011 as a promising teenager but never managed to cement his position as a starter in the Gunners’ side.
The England international eventually made the switch to Anfield in 2017 on a £34million transfer after his Arsenal career appeared to stagnate under Arsene Wenger.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled for game time at Arsenal after arriving in 2011
Gunners fans were often left frustrated at Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lack of game time as he was predominantly used as a substitute.
Alan Gernon’s book, The Transfer Market: The Inside Stories, has explained the situation and it has shed light on Arsenal’s money-saving techniques.
‘Following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Arsenal in 2011, Gunners fans became increasingly frustrated with the midfielder’s lack of playing time,’ wrote Gernon, via Sport Bible.
‘He was predominantly used as a substitute, often around the 71-minute mark.
The England international failed to establish himself as regular starter under Arsene Wenger
‘After his contract details emerged, it all became clear: Arsenal were obliged to pay Southampton £10,000 every time he played 20 minutes or more.’
Oxlade-Chamberlain was deployed as a wing-back towards the end of his time at the club, despite impressing in his rare appearances in a more central role.
His frustration at his role under Wenger led to him making his move to Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain flourished in his first season under Jurgen Klopp, scoring five goals and laying on eight assists in 46 appearances.
The 28-year-old flourished in his first term with Liverpool but injury derailed his Anfield career
But a cruciate ligament injury sustained in the Reds’ Champions League semi-final derailed his season and he has struggled to regain a spot in Liverpool’s midfield.
The arrivals of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Thiago at Anfield as well as the emergence of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot have seen him slip down the pecking order.
After injuries have dealt a blow to Klopp’s engine room this season, Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a slight resurgence.
But with just 18 months left on his current deal, the midfielder’s future with the Reds is left in doubt.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed this season but has just 18 months left on his contract
‘I think it is a completely normal situation…it is about what makes sense for both sides in six or 18 months,’ Klopp told reporters, via The Mirror.
‘But it is not important at all at the moment. In this moment what is important is how do you contribute when you play? That is the only thing.
‘It’s pretty much the best Oxlade since I was here.
‘I know he was more spectacular in (past) moments, scoring against City and some really good goals, but it is a completely new quality.
‘Calming the game down, knowing when to sprint with the ball, when to shoot.
‘Being involved in all the different things on the pitch is a massive step and I’m really happy with Ox in the moment and hopefully it (stays) like this.’