There is usually no going back for players who leave a club.
Exceptions have been seen with the likes of Thierry Henry, Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown, but the reality is that their impact can never match the initial spell they had in the club.
The Gunners are currently being linked with a move for former midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is said to be keeping his options open over a potential January loan return to the Emirates Stadium.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has gone on to win the Premier League and Champions League since leaving the Gunners four years ago, but would the move be the right step for both the player and club?
Chamberlain famously said in an interview with his former Arsenal teammate Per Mertesacker after winning the Champions League that he dedicated the victory to “all of the people [he] left at Arsenal.”
He’s also spoken more recently about the decision to leave the club which guided him in his football education alongside former team Southampton.
“It was a big decision for me to leave a club like Arsenal,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain in April 2020.
“It was everything I knew at the top level for seven years. When you’ve been at a club like that for seven years…it’s a club where you love being and it’s more than just a football club, it’s a family culture.
“When I had to make the decision to leave, it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and to be honest there was a part of me that didn’t know if it was the right thing.”
Arteta’s summer spending saw six new players arrive at the club for a total in excess of £150million, and it’s clear what the transfer strategy has been.
“In recent years, and what we have inherited, the fact that we don’t play in Europe, [we] needed a substantial change,” Arteta told the official Arsenal matchday programme.
“We want a club that is sustainable, that is stable financially but the same time can compete at the highest level, because we know the demands for our club is to be the best. We have to do that.
“On top of that, we needed to recruit in a lot of positions. In order to do that, we had to spread the money and how it was spent wisely. Then we had to be very specific with the qualities, the targets we want that can reach the potential that is required at that level with the competition we have with other teams, to reach that [aim].
“The whole strategy was around that, making those decisions as quickly as possible that could give us big margins of improvement in a short period of time.”
Arteta must build his own identity and with all due respect to Oxlade-Chamberlain, he is not the right player to fit into the Spaniard’s set up or the club as it now stands.
Proven Premier League players are a step in the right direction, but with the poor injury track record and minimal success rate of players returning to the clubs, a move for the Ox does not make sense for Arsenal right now.
Source by Football London