Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has seemingly questioned whether or not Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was tapped up by Liverpool prior to his £35m move.
The 24-year-old completed his move to Anfield on deadline day for a reported £35m as per Sky Sports, just a few days after Arsenal had suffered a heavy defeat to Liverpool on Merseyside.
Speaking on the bigger picture in terms of players being affected by transfer talk prior to games with the market still open after the season starts, he has suggested that Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been spoken to or at least affected on August 27.
“Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity. Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out?” Wenger said, as noted by Sky Sports.
“You are not naive enough to think that will not happen. Have they been tapped up? Of course. But on the day of a game? I don’t think so, I hope not. But it’s inevitable.
“If I am a football player, I can perform even if Liverpool is in my head.
“I don’t think that should stop you to perform. Did it? I think he [Oxlade-Chamberlain] was not worse than any other player on the football pitch. I don’t want to go into individual cases, I just think in general.”
The situation will change to an extent after the Premier League clubs voted in favour of moving the transfer deadline forward so that the window closes prior to the start of the campaign.
Wenger is in full support of the change so that it allows players to fully focus on games rather than where they could be moving to, but he’s likely to anger those at Liverpool with the suggestion that Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been spoken to. It wouldn’t surprise us if there’s a response from the club….