Emirates and Anfield boss’s want Southampton wonderkid.
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Arsenal and Liverpool are weighing up bids for Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – but have been told it will take “Theo Walcott money” to get him.
Goal.com UK understands that the Premier League big-hitters are seriously considering an offer for the England Under-18 attacking midfielder, who is the son of former England international Mark Chamberlain.
But Southampton are ready to dig in their heels and demand a £10 million fee for a player who club insiders rate as better than Walcott at the same age.
Oxlade-Chamberlain became the second youngest debutant – behind Walcott – in the League One club’s history in March when he made his first Southampton appearance aged 16 years and 199 days. He has established himself as a first-team regular this season, starting 13 of his 21 games and scoring five goals.
He is being used by Southampton on the flanks but the coaching staff believe his pace, strength, touch, awareness and eye for goal mean he will eventually mature in to a central midfielder or a forward who plays just behind the main central striker.
“A lot of the big clubs are watching Alex but it will take serious money to get him,” a Southampton source told Goal.com UK. “The coaching staff rate him higher than Walcott at the same age and the club have sorted out their financial issues so are not under any great pressure to sell him for a knockdown fee. It will take Walcott money to get him.” (Goal.com)
Given that Arsenal are indeed very adept at nabbing young talents from clubs and then turning rough diamonds into real gems, they must be favourites to win the race for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. However the 17 year old may be worried he would get lost in amongst the countless talents coming through the Emirates ranks and may then prefer to move to Liverpool who are also looking to bring in players to help populate a new generation of talent in amongst those coming through the Anfield ranks.
Southampton are developing a reputation of producing top talents and of course have in recent seasons sold off the likes of Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale as well as the likes of Andrew Surman and the highly sought after Adam Lallana.
A lot could depend on whether the Saints can force their way up the League One table and back into the Championship, failure to do so may result in the talented teenager putting in a request to leave. However regardless of the south coast club’s success it will be very hard to prevent the Portsmouth born England Under 18 international from having his head turned by such high profile interest.
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