Arsene Wenger: I want 23-year-old England ace to play for Arsenal next season
By Will Butcher
Arsene Wenger has revealed his desire to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal as speculation continues to surround his future.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has failed to start a single match in over a month after suffering a hamstring injury but could return to face Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The Daily Mail claims the 25-time England international could be one of nine Arsenal players to be sold in the summer, but Wenger is adamant that he wants Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay.
In quotes published by Sky Sports, Wenger said it would “damage” the Gunners if the former Southampton star was to leave north London as the summer transfer window looms.
“I personally think it is vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal,” he said. “We bought him when he was very young, we have built him up and I think he has a great mentality.
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“I like his mentality and he has a good football brain. It would be a big damage for us to lose this kind of player.”
Arsenal’s number 15 has been in sparkling form this term, after moving into his more favoured position of central midfield in recent matches.
Scoring six goals against the likes of Liverpool, West Ham and Ludogorets, ‘the Ox’ has also provided eight assists.
However, doubts over his future have continued to arise for the same reason as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, as the trio’s contracts are set to expire in just over 12 months.
All three are likely to start against Sam Allardyce’s side at Selhurst Park, as Wenger looks for his side to build on their 3-0 win against West Ham with another three points.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has won 25 caps for England and played the full 90 minutes in the most recent international fixture – a 2-0 win over Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier.
In other Arsenal news, this England star has what it takes to become an England captain according to Wenger.