Arsenal forced to pay £10k whenever star played over 20 minutes due to contract clause

Arsenal reportedly paid Southampton an eye-watering fee every time Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 20 minutes of football
-Credit: (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal were reportedly forced to pay £10,000 every time Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 20 minutes of football.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 30, moved from his boyhood club Southampton to Arsenal in 2011 as a 17-year-old. The Gunners appeared to have pulled off a smart bit of business from the outside, managing to agree a £12million deal plus £3m in add-ons.

The midfielder, now at Besiktas, made 198 appearances for the north Londoners before sealing a £35m transfer to rivals Liverpool in 2017. Yet a stunning 80 of those were substitute appearances, leading to some confusion among fans at the time over why such a talented prospect could never nail down a regular starting role.

It has since been claimed by Alan Gernon in his book - 'The Transfer Market: The Inside Stories' - that a peculiar clause in Oxlade-Chamberlain's contract was the cause behind his limited minutes and frequent cameos off the bench. And that proved an interesting point of discussion for former Premier League stars Peter Crouch and Steve Sidwell.

Commenting on the Englishman’s contract on That Peter Crouch Podcast, Crouch stated: "Every time Oxlade-Chamberlain played 20 minutes or more for Arsenal they would have to pay Southampton an extra £10,000.”

Having been left bewildered, former Arsenal academy product Sidwell laughingly said: "Is this real? Hold on, every 20 minutes?" leading Crouch to chime in with: "That is madness."

READ MORE: Arsenal set for surprise £65m transfer repeat after three-year strategy keeps critics guessing

READ MORE: Joshua Zirkzee transfer price rockets as Arsenal 'proposal' gives Mikel Arteta advantage

A section from Gernon’s book, released in 2018, read: "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."

Oxlade-Chamberlain's seven-year spell at the Emirates Stadium didn’t quite live up to expectations despite flashes of brilliance. His displays impressed enough, however, to earn him a call-up to Euro 2012, where he became the second youngest player ever to represent England at the European Championships.

He won 35 caps for the Three Lions between 2012 and 2019 and lifted the FA Cup three times with the Gunners in four years, before signing with Liverpool and adding a Premier League, Champions League and EFL Cup to his trophy haul.