Arsenal had cheeky tactic to avoid meeting Oxlade-Chamberlain contract clause

Arsenal had a cheeky tactic to avoid meeting an add-on clause in the deal which saw them sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton in 2011.

Oxlade-Chamberlain spent six years with the Gunners, making 198 appearances and winning three FA Cups before moving to Liverpool in 2017.

However, Arsenal's tactics for avoiding having to pay additional performance based fees that had been included in the transfer limited the number of starts the midfielder made for the club.

The Gunners were required to pay Southampton £10,000 every time Oxlade-Chamberlain played more than 20 minutes in a match, perhaps contributing to him starting just 115 matches for the Gunners.

Alan Gernon explained this clause in his 2018 book, The Transfer Market: Inside Stories, in which he wrote: "Following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's move to Arsenal in 2011, Gunners fans became increasingly frustrated with the midfielder's lack of playing time.

"He was predominantly used as a substitute, often around the 71-minute mark.

"After his contract details emerged, it all became clear: Arsenal were obliged to pay Southampton £10,000 every time he played 20 minutes or more."

This continued throughout Oxlade-Chamberlain's six years in north London, before he departed for Liverpool on deadline day in August 2017 for £35million.

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He has gone on to win the Champions League and the Premier League in his four-and-half-years at Anfield, but has had his playing time disrupted by injury.

The 28-year-old missed 11 months after rupturing his cruciate ligament in April 2018, missing almost the whole of the following season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain also missed 20 matches of the campaign last season after suffering a knee injury.

He could soon be on the move once again, though, with just 18 months remaining on his current Liverpool deal, meaning he is currently set to be become a free agent in 2023.

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