Arsene Wenger Questions Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Decision To Join Liverpool

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of hiding from the challenge of staying at Arsenal and fighting for his place, rather than quitting to join Liverpool.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned down the offer of a new contract at the Emirates Stadium and, with less than a year to run on his existing terms, was sold on for £35m on transfer deadline day.

Ahead of Friday night’s meeting between Arsenal and Liverpool, Wenger has claimed that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s reason for wanting to leave did not make sense as he was also going to have to battle for playing time on Merseyside.

“What do you want to be, a big player and not have to fight?” he told reporters. “You can’t be a big player, sit in your rocking chair and say, ‘I do not want to fight.’ It doesn’t work like that. Every player has to fight. I am convinced it is an important part of being a top player.

“Is he sure of a place there? You are sure of a place nowhere. In a big club, you have big competition with some good players. That is absolutely normal. I didn’t want him to go. I offered him a contract to stay, but in the end he decided to go and we just had to try and the the best possible price. Look, he had one year to go.

“At start of the season we had four players with one year to go and I wanted him to extend his contract. Yes, he decided to go and we respect that. But at the end of the day I decided to sell one [of the four]. We respect his decision and that’s absolutely normal and I have no problem with that.

“What’s important is that the players make a good career, preferably in your club. If it doesn’t happen, you still want them to have a good career. That’s part of it, you know. If you look at the clubs, at any other club, we have more stability on the player side than any other club at the top level. Sometimes it happens with one player who we don’t want to go, goes.”

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