And so the departures from the Emirates begin. Just 48 hours after being part of the Arsenal side that were ripped apart by Liverpool at the weekend, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to move to Chelsea after the two clubs agreed on a £35m fee for the England international.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates, last week rejected a final contract offer worth £180,000-a-week and made his intentions clear that he wanted to leave.
Arsenal risked losing him for nothing if they refused to sell in the current transfer window and Chelsea have offered enough to tempt Arsene Wenger into a sale.
Speaking last week Wenger called on Oxlade-Chamberlain to commit his future to the Gunners.
‘All these conversations that I have [I say] that I want him to stay and be one of the big players of the future of this club,’ said Wenger.’
‘He is one of the players this team has to be built around in the future. Personally I want him to commit to the club and to be one of the carrier of the values of our team.
‘I want to keep my best players. I only have one target: to keep everybody onboard. I think we invested a lot of time, confidence and money on players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who we bought at a young age.
‘For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one of the big English players in the coming years. I personally am highly determined to keep him here at the club and I hope he will commit.’
Oxlade-Chamberlain started the game at Anfield as a right wing-back and is likely to feature in a similar role for Antonio Conte, who has been looking to strengthen his options in that area for much of the summer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of those Arsenal players, along with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey whose careers have stagnated. They all showed great promise as youngsters but never developed into the type of players that Arsenal fans expected.
Maybe with a move to Stamford Bridge we will finally see Oxlade-Chamberlain fulfill his potential.