What’s the word?
According to BBC Sport journalist Phil McNulty, following the recent links that the 28-year-old could be a player of interest for the Midlands outfit, the belief is that Steven Gerrard and co will not be pursuing a deal this summer.
Should Villa sign Oxlade-Chamberlain?
Not for me!
Writing on Twitter about Villa’s possible interest, the respected source stated: “Aston Villa will not be making any move to sign Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and their position on Luis Suarez remains unchanged. No move planned.”
Previous reports had suggested that the Reds are keen to cash in on the former Arsenal man this summer – who they signed from the Emirates in 2017 on a £35m deal – with the reported asking price believed to be just £10m, with only a year remaining on his existing contract.
That would have seen the Villa Park outfit able to land the 35-cap gem for a relative bargain price, yet as it is supporters are set to be disappointed and annoyed, with Gerrard seemingly set to pursue other targets to that of his former Three Lions colleague.
A new midfielder is believed to be on the agenda for the 42-year-old in the current window – despite having already signed Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara – yet it would appear that Oxlade-Chamberlain is not viewed as the right fit.
Although there may perhaps be understandable concerns over his fitness record – as he has endured lengthy spells on the treatment table during his time on Merseyside – the £14.4m-rated man is a player with a wealth of experience at the elite level and has won a host of major honours, hence the possible fury that Villa are set to snub a move.
While the most recent campaign saw him make just 28 appearances in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side, the £125k-per-week ace still managed to chip in with a respectable tally of six goal contributions, proving he may simply need regular game time in order to totally showcase his talent.
Once dubbed a player who “offers something totally different” by pundit Rio Ferdinand, the one-time Southampton man also compares favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 3% for touches in the attacking penalty area, the top 4% for progressive carries and the top 8% for dribbles completed, illustrating his dynamism from his central midfield berth.
A player who can also offer invaluable versatility – having featured all across the front three for the Reds and in a wing-back role during his time in north London – it would seem a bold call not to at least attempt to try and secure a deal this summer, with little to lose for Gerrard and co with the reported fee so small.
As it is, supporters will likely be fuming if the Portsmouth-born maestro goes on to be a success elsewhere next term, unless Villa can recruit a notable alternative.