Arsene Wenger commenting on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool serves as evidence that he is far from over the matter.
The Frenchman has taken a subtle swipe at the midfielder by claiming his exit hurt him less than Kieran Gibbs’ summer move to West Bromwich Albion.
Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed his Anfield switch on deadline day after turning down a final contract offer at the Emirates in aid of furthering his career elsewhere.
His pursuit of a transfer included not only moving on from Wenger’s guidance but also turning down the champions Chelsea in favour of developing under Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking out on Arsenal’s two notable sales, Wenger said: “Overall it’s true that with Gibbs (it hurt) more than with Chamberlain because he had been educated at Arsenal from the age of 10.”
“When he arrived he was a left-winger. I transformed him into a full-back because he was no necessarily rated as a guy who would make it as a left winger but I saw something in him that was very intelligent ,with pace, that made me feel he could make it as a left-back.”
“Academy players carry the values that you think are important, which are based on mental qualities, humility, respect and commitment, and as well football qualities which means you always try to play in a positive way.”
Dig at Oxlade-Chamberlain or not- it seems fair to say the 24-year-old’s exit will have hurt just as much, if not even more.
For a club so focused on moulding and bringing through young stars, losing a player who has expressed a desire to work on his craft elsewhere represented a significant blow for Arsenal.
The England international hasn’t enjoyed the start he would have liked on Merseyside, but that hasn’t deterred the belief he boasts the traits capable of seeing him thrive in Klopp’s system.