Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he faces a “big job” to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the club amid talk of a big new contract offer.
After mostly under-performing for the majority of his Arsenal career to date, the 23-year-old is seemingly taking big strides this season even when asked to play in different positions as his versatility has come to the fore.
Whether it’s on the right wing, in central midfield or as right wing-back in the last two games, Oxlade-Chamberlain has certainly impressed for Arsenal this season but that has ultimately led to interest from elsewhere with Liverpool and Manchester City linked with a move, as per The Mirror.
That in turn has resulted in talk of the England international being offered a significant wage increase which would see him earn £100,000-a-week, with his current deal set to expire next summer.
Wenger has certainly noticed the improvement and build-up of confidence in his player, but admits that it could prove to be a difficult task this summer in keeping him at Arsenal.
“It will be as well decided in the summer. It’s a big job to do in the summer. You can help us to negotiate some contracts,” he told the media, as noted by the Mirror.
“I think he is one of the players who has developed very well mentally. He is more positive, more confident, more mature.
“He was sometimes a bit negative with his own performances. And I think on that front he is much better now.”
Time will tell what Oxlade-Chamberlain decides to do, but ultimately his focus and that of the Gunners will be on ending the season in strong fashion as they look to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive while they also have a date with Chelsea in the FA Cup final next month.
It’s also worth noting that he has been able to steer clear of injuries for the most part this year too, as he’s racked up 39 appearances in all competitions, surpassing his previous best of 37 two years ago with a number of important games still to play.