Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said it hurt more to sell Kieran Gibbs this summer than it did to lose Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool…
The left-back joined West Brom having fallen way down Arsenal’s pecking order, while Ox was a starter and cost us £35m, even though his contract had just one year to run.
But Wenger thinks that because Gibbs was home-grown, his loss will be felt more greatly.
“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,” the Frenchman said, cited in the Echo.
“When he arrived he was a left-winger. I transformed him into a full-back because he was not 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. Plus real team play and focusing on a collective way.”
For us, this sounds like sour grapes…
Wenger was so desperate for Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay, Arsenal offered him an £180k/week extension, but the player had no intention of renewing terms and preferred a switch to Liverpool over Chelsea, too.
Gibbs, on the other hand, wasn’t offered any new deal and ushered out of the back door to the Baggies for a small fee.
Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled during his first four matches but impressed from the bench against Leicester at the weekend.
The monkey is off his back now and we hope he gets more minutes in Russia to show us what he’s capable of.