Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain insists it wasn’t a feeling Arsenal wouldn’t win trophies as the reason for his departure.
The England international says it was the hardest decision of his life when he left the London club to join Liverpool in August 2017 in a £40million deal, and he was uncertain if it was the right move.
Liverpool and Arsenal were of a similar ability at the time so it was seen by some as a sideways move, but it’s proved to be a good decision for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Reds have kicked on under Jurgen Klopp, winning the Champions League last season. They are also on the verge of winning the Premier League this term, with the coronavirus outbreak putting a hold on their coronation.
Meanwhile, the Gunners haven’t finished in the top four since 2016 and haven’t won a major trophy since Oxlade-Chamberlain left.
Speaking about his move to Merseyside with Arsenal legend Ian Wright, the England ace said: “I wouldn’t say I wanted to leave Arsenal because I didn’t believe we could win.
“I just didn’t believe I was going to be able to play where I wanted to play and that was it.
“Me winning the Champions League was obviously a dream come true and a massive bonus but I didn’t feel like ‘Ah, I told you so’ [at Arsenal].”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was frequently asked to play as a wing-back at Arsenal instead of his preferred midfield position.
And it was the promise of being played in midfield that ultimately lured him to Anfield.
He added: “It was a big decision for me to leave a club like Arsenal. It was everything I knew at the top level for seven years.
“When you’ve been at a club like that for seven years…it’s a club where you love being and it’s more than just a football club, it’s a family culture.
“When I had to make the decision to leave, it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and to be honest there was a part of me that didn’t know if it was the right thing.
“I feel a lot of my best performances for Arsenal came in midfield but I never played consistently in that position.
“The first game of that season I switched with Hector [Bellerin]. First game I played on the left [wing-back], he played on the right and second game we switched.
“I thought ‘I’ve got to take the risk, I’ve got to take the chance. I don’t want to look back at the end and think I didn’t try.’”
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For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.