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Potential transfer target: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain
Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain

It's fitting that after the Arsenal match the next transfer target we cover will draw comparisons to Theo Walcott.  Oxlade Chamberlain (currently 17) rose through the youth ranks at Southampton to become a regular in their first team, following the recent paths laid out by Walcott and Gareth Bale.  He's been linked heavily to ourselves, Fulham, Liverpool, and Arsenal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is a 5'11" Midfielder/Winger who broke into the first team at Southampton last season.  He came through the ranks as a central midfielder, but has recently been moved to the wings by Southampton.  He's now started 22 games for the Saints, and was the second youngest player to ever make an appearence at the club (Walcott).  He recently made his debut for the English U18 side, and will likely be a regular in the squad going forward.

Chamberlain signed a 3 year contract extension with Southampton in August of this year, so there is no pressure for the club to sell right now to get an acceptable fee.  This also make him more likely to be sold in the summer window, as the club is currently in the mix for promotion and would benefit from keeping the young winger.  There have been some rumors of a sale and loan though, and that seems like a logical move if a big January bid was made by a top club.   The coaching staff at Southampton seem reluctant to sell, as they supposedly rate him higher than they did Theo Walcott.

Like Walcott, Chamberlain's biggest strength at this point appears to be his tremendous speed, but he's bigger than Walcott and likely to be able to handle the physical play of the Premier League better.  Since moving to the wing, he's shown quite an eye for goal, scoring in basically every other match he's played.  He's also shown real promise with his ability to cross the ball into the box, which coupled with his speed would make him a tremendous talent on the wing.  He seems to have the size and goalscoring talent necessary to slot in as a striker for a team not utilizing a 4-3-3, and he's certainly also capable of playing on the wide midfield.  

Chamberlain is English born, and English born talent is becoming harder to find in top clubs lately.  His marketability will likely drive his price tag up to a pretty high level, currently rumored to be in the 10 million pound range.  He's also going to eventually qualify as a homegrown player, something big clubs really need to focus on adding.  All in all, Chamberlain would be a great young addition if the price was right, but he might be a smarter purchase in the summer as he's unlikely to make much of an impact this season.  He'll certainly be a name to know going forward though, as he's likely to be a big part of future England squads.

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