Arsenal today completed the signing of one of the most coverted young footballers in the England, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Championship side Southampton.
As usual, it’s an undisclosed fee, but it’s believed the transfer is totalled at £10 million, with an initial £5 million paid up front, and the remaining portion of the fee available through add-on’s.
With this much money being spent on 17 years old, Arsenal fans may be disappointed that Arsene Wenger hasn’t used the money towards bringing in a new centre back, or on strengthening other areas of the squad, with fans still pining for a new goalkeeper or a marquee signing such as Juan Mata. Nevertheless the way this deal was pushed through so quickly, show's Arsenal still have the capability to make a deal happen if necessary.
To understand why Wenger has decided to sign the winger, Real Talk Football brings you all you need to know about the young winger.
Chamberlain, who is an England under-18 international, is another product of Southampton’s excellent youth academy, which has previously produced such talents including Gareth Bale, current Arsenal striker Theo Walcott, as well as established Premier League players: Wayne Bridge and Chris Baird.
He joined Southampton’s youth system when he was just 7 years old, and after 9 years with the club, he made his professional debut against Huddersfield Town, aged 16. Since his debut, he went on to make 34 first team appearances for the South coast club, scoring 10 goals and getting 8 assists.
He has blistering pace, combined with flair, all the attributes which make him a tricky winger capable of chipping in with goals, leaves the possibility of him converting into a striker at some time in the future, which has been predicted for Chamberlain by his current coaches.
Former Southampton manager Alan Pardew, who gave Chamberlain his professional debut, commented on the then 16 year old saying;
“You have to understand that his age is irrelevant if is he good enough, and he is good enough”
Chamberlain has obviously been compared to Theo Walcott, but he is more of a box-to-box midfielder, who began his career as a centre midfielder who subsequently was shifted onto the wing. He is seen as extremely "devoted and hard working" who has trained hard in order to dissolve criticism regarding his strength and weight. He is capable of switching wings, and his pace is undoubtedly his best attribute.
He was named in the League One Team of the Year for the 2010/11 campaign. A fantastic achievement.
Here's all you need to know
Height: 5ft 11’
Position: Right Winger/Centre Midfield
Previous Club: Southampton
Club Apps: 34 Club Goals: 10
Transfer Fee: £5million (£10million)
Strengths: Pace, Crossing ability and temperament
Weakness: Untried at the highest level, big price tag
Click below for a video of Arsenal’s new signing, and leave your comment below.
Real Talk Football