Former Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set for Liverpool departure that should inspire sporting director Edu to repeat Gunners sales success
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal in 2017 for a club-record sale in the region of £35 million to Liverpool amid interest from Chelsea. Despite winning both the Premier League and Champions League, the former Gunners youngster signed from Southampton as a teenager will see his time at Anfield end this summer.
This is according to Fabrizio Romano, who claims the former Arsenal man will be allowed to leave on a free transfer this summer. Injury issues have stunted his progression at the side he dreamt of playing for and that fuelled the reasons behind rejecting a contract extension in north London, as well as a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The sale, despite his medals on Merseyside, has been as a huge success at Arsenal. Along with Alex Iwobi, Arsenal have seen two young players sell for upwards of £30 million and yet neither has left them regretting the decision.
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Looking at the Arsenal midfield and forward line, neither would get close to the current starters who have helped return the club to the top level and into a Premier League title race this season. Newly promoted sporting director Edu arrived two years after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s exit and despite being in his then role of technical director when Iwobi was sold, has only managed one major sale since Raul Sanllehi left as head of football.
Edu managed to agree on a deal with Newcastle for the sale of Joe Willock that could rise to as high as £25 million. He also agreed to a move for goalkeeper Emi Martinez who had played very little senior football for Arsenal which earned the club in the region of £17 million when he joined Aston Villa.
Other than Willock, no other player’s sale has reached double digits thus far. In the summer of 2023, Nicolas Pepe, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares could all potentially move on and will be a test for Edu to try and maximise the financial benefit behind the prospective departures.
Pepe cost the club a record £72 million and, what can be seen rather fairly now as a mistake on the club’s behalf, will certainly be a struggle to get even a third of what the Gunners paid in 2019, especially considering his sole year remaining on his contract.
However, Arsenal are signing players shrewdly for lower fees like the aforementioned Tavares, who will almost certainly earn a considerable profit after a successful loan spell with Marseille. The dynamic of Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun also needs to be resolved and could end with the sale of one and earn the club profit on a Hale End Academy graduate.
The scrutiny for Edu’s sales ability now reaches a step where there is little defence for a disappointing revenue stream from the area. The upcoming summer can hopefully see a step toward the level of fees seen with the sale of Oxlade-Chamberlain.