Ronald Koeman and Everton are expected to have a hefty transfer budget this summer, and the rumors are beginning to roll in. The latest report is that the Toffees have registered an interest in Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, can play centrally but is most effective deployed on the wing. Valued at €20 million, “the Ox” could fit in nicely on Everton’s right wing, which would allow Ross Barkley to move back into midfield behind Romelu Lukaku.
Alternatively he could be seen as cover on the left for Ademola Lookman and Kevin Mirallas. Lookman’s best position is as of yet undefined, while Mirallas seems to come in and out of the squad and unable to find a consistent run of form.
Regardless, Oxlade-Chamberlain is a versatile player who has never quite found his niche under Arsene Wenger. Most often used as an impact substitute in his Arsenal career, the Gunners’ injury situation this season has meant Oxlade-Chamberlain is deputising in the center of the park with regularity alongside Granit Xhaka or Francis Coquelin.
Any Oxlade-Chamberlain move could be seen as a precursor to a permanent move away from Goodison for Gerard Deulofeu, and that might be just fine, given that the former offers a higher workrate and level of consistency, both traits that Ronald Koeman values highly.
Also linked with Manchester City, it’s unlikely that Pep Guardiola could offer the same amount of playing time and prominent squad role that Chamberlain would find on Merseyside. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane are two of the most promising wing players in world football, to say nothing of depth players like Nolito and Jesus Navas.
Keep this one in the back of your mind, as it’s very likely to be worth revisiting when the transfer window re-opens.