Arsenal have been tipped to re-sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Four years on from swapping north London for Merseyside, the versatile midfielder has reportedly emerged as a shock target for Gunners manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the January transfer window.
According to The Sun, the Gunners boss is considering the possibility of re-signing his former teammate on an initial six-month loan deal with the possibility of a permanent move at the end of the season.
Signing a midfielder is a priority for Arteta and Edu ahead in the new year especially as it’s an area Arsenal will be a little light in with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny expected to depart for Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Furthermore, Granit Xhaka will only just be returning from his three-month injury layoff – provided his rehabilitation goes to plan – and therefore is unlikely to be rushed back.
However, with any potential deal, there are always pros and cons to consider.
This one is no different as the 28-year-old’s quite poor injury record at Liverpool might make it easier for Arteta and Edu to opt against bringing the midfielder back to the club.
As per transfermarkt, Oxlade-Chamberlain has missed a total of 74 games since joining the Merseyside giants for £35million.
Of course, he has been unfortunate with two big injuries at Liverpool which inflates the number as he has made 30+ Premier League appearances twice in four full seasons under Jurgen Klopp.
But it’s a similar story from his time at Arsenal.
In total he missed 81 games for the Gunners, and whilst he was regularly able to hit 20+ appearances across all competitions during his six full seasons in north London, his progress repeatedly stalled with one or two niggles that caused him to miss several weeks of action.
What may discourage Arsenal fans and Arteta is the fact that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury record has barely improved since leaving and there are question marks regarding his progress.
Is he a better player now than he was four years ago?
Whilst a short-term loan deal would suit the Gunners financially as well as boost numbers in central midfield, can Arteta and Edu afford to take a risk on a player whose injury record isn’t great and might not be an upgrade on current options?
It’s often said that the best ability is availability and Arsenal will certainly need that early in the new year, but Oxlade-Chamberlain has rarely shown that he can steer clear of injury for an entire season.