Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain explains his reasons for leaving Arsenal this summer

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

Direct transfers between Arsenal and Liverpool rarely happen.

With both clubs sharing the same goal each season - a top-four finish with an outside chance of winning the league - it makes no sense to make a rival stronger by giving them one of your players.

And since Arsenal's derisory offer of £40 million + £1 for Luis Suarez in 2013, there has been some bad blood between the two sides.

But the Gunners had very little choice to allow Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to swap the Emirates for Anfield this summer.

The England international had just 12 months remaining on his deal in north London and wanted out. So, when Liverpool came in with an offer of £35 million, Arsene Wenger begrudgingly allowed him to join them.

But why was Oxlade-Chamberlain so desperate to leave Arsenal in the first place - especially when reports suggest he rejected a £180,000-per-week contract to stay, whilst accepting a deal worth £125,000-per-week to leave?

Well, in an interview with The Times, he explained how he wanted to get out of his comfort zone.

Why he had to leave Arsenal

“I can’t apologise for my decision to leave. I want to get more out of myself,” Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted.

“I could have stayed at Arsenal and progressed there maybe — you never know what can happen — but I felt the main thing was taking myself out of my comfort zone and really push myself to achieve as much as I can in a team and a position where I want to progress.”

Western Sydney v Arsenal

Why he joined Liverpool

So that’s the reason for leaving Arsenal but what were the reasons for joining Liverpool?

Of course, there was the lure of playing under Jurgen Klopp. And the 25-year-old appeared to suggest that the German could give him something that Wenger never did at Arsenal - a bit of motivation.

“Having been someone on the outside looking in, I couldn’t help but notice what the manager [Klopp] is doing here, and wondering what it would be like to play for a character like that,” he said.

“He’s very inspirational, passionate, involved and intense. I felt that was something that could gee me up.”

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League

While Klopp is one factor in his decision to choose Liverpool over Chelsea, the fact that he would be playing in a more advanced position on Merseyside also appealed to him.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's position

"The idea of playing centrally is definitely something I like. When I got that opportunity at Arsenal I enjoyed it. I liked having more of the ball," he said.

The main reason I came here was the understanding I’d be playing further up the pitch and in a more attacking role, and more opportunities centrally to express that. I wouldn’t say central midfield, I’d say an attacking midfielder.

"That’s the beauty of this Liverpool team: you can be one of four attacking positions, everywhere except striker, and have that attacking-midfielder influence. The wingers tend to not be so wide all the time, they start inside to go out or out to come in, similar to England at the moment."


So, Oxlade-Chamberlain has finally explained his reasons for swapping Arsenal for Liverpool.

It’s time for him to get to work as Liverpool travel to Manchester City on Saturday.

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