West Ham have reportedly enquired about the availability of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of the summer…
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim the Irons are in the transfer market for attacking midfield reinforcements and the Liverpool star is amongst the targets after slipping down the pecking order at Anfield.
A source has told the website that the East London outfit have made contact over potentially signing the 27-year-old before the start of next season.
It is thought that the 2019/20 champions will listen to offers for Oxlade-Chamberlain and with three years still to run on his current £120k-per-week deal, they value him around £22m.
A move for the 35-time England international could be a case of serious deja vu at the London Stadium and David Moyes must approach with caution.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is undoubtedly a top-quality player as he’s made over 200 appearances in the top-flight, and has a Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in his trophy cabinet.
His former manager Arsene Wenger even once likened him to Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas. He told the Guardian in 2012:
“I feel that is always a brand of top players. They just play. When you saw [Wayne] Rooney start he played like it was natural, the same with [Cesc] Fabregas. They are happy on the football pitch and comfortable.”
Whilst upon signing for the Reds, data analyst and Anfield Index Pro podcaster Dan Kennett described the versatile dynamo as a “physical monster” with “pace, power and endurance.”
However, his career in recent seasons has been seriously hampered by injury. For instance, this year alone, he has played only 244 minutes in the Premier League, adding to his total of just 1,490 minutes in their title-winning campaign, via Transfermarkt.
Since arriving in Merseyside in 2017, Oxlade-Chamberlain has missed more games than he has played and it was an injury that ruled him out of the 2018 World Cup, too.
When he has been on the pitch this season, The Athletic’s James Pearce has described the 27-year-old as a “passenger,” highlighting his form as real concern.
A £22m investment and wages that would see him top their payroll is certainly a big gamble to make when you factor in his dire injury record.
It bears plenty of similarities to Manuel Pellegrini’s mistake of bringing Jack Wilshere to the club, albeit on a free transfer.
On his day, when fit, the former Gunners star was amongst the very best on the ball in the Premier League but the Irons saw him on the pitch just 19 times across two seasons.
You’d have to worry that the same could happen here with Oxlade-Chamberlain, even more so considering the finances involved this time.
Moyes should probably steer clear of the £18m-rated midfielder as he’s dealt with more than enough injury problems this season, he shouldn’t want to add to those woes with a campaign in Europe on the horizon.