Ian Wright left stunned as Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain closes in on £35m Chelsea deal

Ian Wright has described Arsenal as an “absolute shambles” and expressed amazement that the club would sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea.

Gunners great Wright tore into the current crop of Arsenal stars after their 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool at Anfield, and spent much of Monday trying to avoid football.

But Wright then learned of reports that Oxlade-Chamberlain could be on his way to the Premier League champions in a £35m (€37.7m) deal, and it left him at an even greater loss to explain Arsenal’s plight.

Arsenal and Chelsea have yet to confirm the widespread claims that a deal is in place between the clubs for the transfer of the 24-year-old England midfielder. Both clubs declined to comment on the potential deal last night.

Wright, Arsenal’s second highest scorer of all time, was stunned by the reports after spending the afternoon with family, and said: “The first thing I hear is that the Ox might be on his way to Chelsea. That’s disappointing news.”

He added: “Chelsea want him — Chelsea, the champions will take him. That says we obviously have players that are good enough.”

Diverting his thoughts to Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who will reach the end of their contracts next summer and could then cash in on being free agents, Wright questioned why Arsenal’s players of recognised top-class ability are inconsistent when lining up for Arsene Wenger’s side.

He suspects some are not committed to playing for the club.

“If Sanchez and Ozil are free, they will be snapped up,” Wright said. “Why can’t we get these players to play for us? Why don’t they want to play for us?”

Wright said Wenger “won’t quit”. The Frenchman signed a new two-year deal at the end of last season.

“He is literally a hermit to the game. He goes home and he’s probably on his phone. It’s all football and more importantly it’s all Arsenal. You do feel it’s almost like his blanket, his comfort blanket,” Wright said.

“If he’s not got Arsenal, I don’t know what would happen to him.”

Wright added: “When you go through that list of everything that is going wrong, and you’ve got to throw in recruitment — whoever’s doing the recruitment, someone’s got to have a massive, massive word — it’s an absolute shambles and I’m really gutted for everybody involved.”

And he said Arsenal’s situation reached such a dismal low in the loss to Liverpool, he has found sympathy from supporters of other Premier League clubs.

“We got exactly what we deserved but I didn’t expect to see such a listless (performance) ... the performance was terrible,” Wright said. “Watching Arsene Wenger on the bench playing with his hands at one stage, he looked very, very uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing.

“My mates — my Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United mates — they feel sorry for me.”


Lifestyle

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

More From The Irish Examiner