Arsene Wenger says he wanted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to stay at Arsenal and sign a new deal, but the midfielder made his mind up to leave.
The 24 year old joined Liverpool on deadline day, two days after being part of an Arsenal team that got spanked 4-0 at Anfield.
“He had one year to go,” he said. “At the start of the season we had four players with one year to go.
“I wanted him to extend his contract, yes. He decided to go. We respect that but at the end of the day, I decided to sell.
“We respect his decision and that’s absolutely normal and I have no problem with that.
“What’s important is that the players make a good career, preferably in your club. If it doesn’t happen, you still want them to have a good career.”
It’s pretty magnanimous stuff from Wenger, but he nevertheless reminded the Ox that when you’re at a big club you’ve got to work hard to ensure your place in the team.
“What do you want, to be a big player and not fight?” he said.
“What do you want on top of that, sitting in a rocking chair saying ‘I’m a big player – I don’t need to fight’?
“It does not work like that. Every player can do that and he does it so overall I am convinced it is part of being a top player.”
We’ve had players depart in much more bitter circumstances, but let’s hope Oxlade-Chamberlain reminds us why taking £40m for him was seen as good business.