Arsenal completed the signing of young English forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain today from Southampton for a reported fee of £12 million with a further £3 million in add-ons. The 17 year old winger/striker is Arsene Wenger's third signing this summer, alongside Carl Jenkinson from Charlton and Gervinho from Lille.
This is not exactly the signing many Gooners were hoping for, as Wenger has still yet to address the squad's defensive frailties. However the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain is positive enough and is an encouraging sign for the future of the club. Alex's signing adds another Englishman to the squad which I could not be more happy about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a patriotic nutcase nor did I hate it when our team-sheets were dominated with foreigners, but it's just nice to see Englishmen plying their trade at the big clubs in a time when the Premier League is flooded with more foreign players than it has ever had. Realistically I don't expect we'll see much of Oxlade-Chamberlain outside of the Carling Cup this season as he'll have to get up to speed with the demands the Premiership places on players. He is still only 17 (he'll turn 18 this time next week) so there is plenty of time for him to develop and become accustomed to life as an Arsenal player. All in all I'm pretty happy with this signing, a nice piece of business for the club and dynamic, speedy players like Oxlade-Chamberlain always get me excited.
A good signing for Arsenal but Wenger can't put away his cheque book just yet. He must add a strong defensive player to the squad before the end of the month, he simply has to. If he doesn't and things on the pitch don't go our way, the rumblings around the Emirates will begin to build and the boss's neck will really be on the line. The fans are already at breaking point and the relationship between Wenger and the supporters has never been at a lower point. Shore up the defence Arsene, or suffer the wrath of the North London faithful, and if you've been watching the news of late, that is the last thing you want to do. Of course I exaggerate, by no means will the fans riot around the Emirates if our demands (often extreme) aren't met, but the paying supporters expect better and will let you know if the club's performances and actions aren't up to scratch.
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