Here's the bizarre clause that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had in his Arsenal contract
Arsenal apparently had to pay Southampton a significant fee every time Ox played more than 20 minutes
If at any point you've ever wondered why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn't play more during his time at Arsenal, you may finally be starting to get some answers.
According to a new book from Irish soccer writer Alan Gernon, Oxlade-Chamberlain had a very strange clause in his Arsenal contract that very well may have limited his playing time while he was with the team. In "The Transfer Market: The Inside Stories" -- an examination of soccer's transfer market and its oddities, tales and manipulations -- Gernon writes that more minutes for Oxlade-Chamberlain would have proven very costly for Arsenal. Literally.
"Following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's move to Arsenal in 2011, Gunners fans became increasingly frustrated with the midfielder's lack of playing time," Gernon penned in The Transfer Market: The Inside Stories .
"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."
(For reference, £10,000 equals about $12,725.)
Ox joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2011 and went on to have somewhat of a rollercoaster tenure with the Gunners over the next six years. But Oxlade-Chamberlain rarely got much of a chance to log significant first-half minutes, especially early on in his tenure. As Gernon notes, he was often used as a late-game sub, logging less than 20 minutes to close out matches.
In his six years with Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain never started more than 17 EPL matches in a season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 25, moved on to Liverpool last summer and had an impressive first season at Anfield. However, he suffered a serious knee injury prior to the Champions League final and is still rehabilitating to return.
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