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Arsene Wenger has revealed that he wants to keep Alex Oxlade Chamberlain at Arsenal.
The Ox is being linked with a move away from the Emirates, with Manchester United and Manchester City among the host of clubs keeping tabs on his services.
The midfielder spoke in an interview earlier in the season that he will reassess his future in the summer if he doesn’t get as much game time as he wants.
Since then, he has featured more but reports linking him with an exit has refused to go away which is normal because he has just little over a year left in his contract.
Wenger has now hinted that the club has plans to renew the midfielder’s contract.
“I personally think it is vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal,” Wenger told Arsenal.com . “We bought him when he was very young, we have built him up and I think he has a great mentality and a good football brain. It would be a big damage for us to lose this kind of player.
“He can lose balls but defensively he is strong in the challenge when he wants to switch on. He has that kind of robustness to deal with body-to-body which is very important in the Premier League.
“When I didn’t play Ozil I had to find a combination with Alex in central midfield. He is offensive and you can see as well he is a guy who can get out of pressure. He has a dribbling skill and acceleration that can get you out of pressure.
“He can penetrate, and in midfield that is important. I felt as well sometimes on the flank he is out of the game but in the middle he is more focused. He needs to be involved in the game.”
I really do not understand what Wenger meant when he said losing Ox will be a “great damage” to Arsenal because for me, the midfielder isn’t indispensable. Yes, he is one with great potential but that is where it is. He hasn’t improved much in recent years and no one is sure what he’s going to be like next term.
Well, keeping him may be best thing to do, he is still very young and can still be sold if things doesn’t go as planned but I don’t think we have that chance to gamble on any player again.