Chelsea have allegedly told Arsenal they can sign goalkeeper Petr Cech, but only if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is sent in the opposite direction.
This report comes from an unnamed club “source,” who told The Sun (h/t Telegraph Sport): “Arsene Wenger wants a top keeper from us. Well, in exchange we want Oxlade-Chamberlain. They may not be in the Arsenal team but we are convinced Jose Mourinho could make them into top players again.”
While Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is proven at helping struggling stars to find top form—highlighted by John Terry’s excellent campaign— Oxlade-Chamberlain does not seemingly stand out as particularly essential target for the Blues.
The Ox is perhaps the more attractive prospect between him and Petr Cech due to his hard-working, energetic and versatile game. He can be deployed on either wing and has played in a central midfield role on occasion across the last couple of years. The 21-year-old is a powerful dribbler of the ball, and he always looks to cause problems by bursting into space. However, his true potential remains untapped, not helped by a string of injuries.
However, on the other side, Arsenal are in need of a goalkeeper and Petr Cech won’t be seen as a long term replacement. At 33 his retirement days are beckoning and he isn’t as strong and agile as per his glory days, meanwhile, Chamberlain is 21, will be seen as a long term buy but how will he fit in at Chelsea?
Mourinho possesses plenty of options on the flank, led by Eden Hazard and Willian. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s natural graft could make him a quality alternative to the latter, but the Portuguese boss isn’t one to upset the balance of his side.
If there is truth in The Sun’s report, it wouldn’t be beyond Mourinho to secure one of Arsenal’s players as a response to their pursuit of Cech. He won’t want to be seen giving any leeway to Chelsea’s rivals, so he may be able to reclaim a little dignity by grabbing one of the Gunners’ stars.