Arsene Wenger has clearly indicated his interest in retaining Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal this summer.
The Ox was questioned at the beginning of the season about what he intends doing concerning his contract which expires 2018. Alongside his father, he said he would only consider a move in the summer if he wasn’t getting enough playing time.
Since then, he has featured in lots of games, but talks of his exit have not stopped. The 23-year old’s contract is valid for another 18 months and with Jose Mourinho a fanatic of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger is already preparing to get him to extend his stay at the Emirates.
“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.”