Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has revealed that he completely understands why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to move to Liverpool, a club in which he is competing with top-class players who are pushing him to improve. The same cannot be said for Jack Wilshere, who is playing with midfielders on his level and who do not make him feel the need to perform better.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, joined Liverpool in a £35m ($48.25m) deal on transfer deadline day last summer after turning down a big contract to remain at the Emirates Stadium. His move to Anfield did not start off in glowing terms, however, as he was part of a team that was thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad days after his much-talked-about move.
However, he staged an incredible comeback and answered his critics following a brilliant performance against City in the reverse fixture, where the Reds won 4-3, scoring a goal in the process.
The England international has spoken about his desire to play in midfield, something Jurgen Klopp has afforded him at Liverpool, having been shunted to wing-back at Arsenal.
Parlour believes the transfer has helped Oxlade-Chamberlain grow as a player, something which cannot be said about Wilshere. The 26-year-old has edstablished himself as an important member in the Arsenal team but the lack of players to look up to will stunt his progress in the long run.
"The big question is, is Jack playing around players who are on his level at Arsenal?" Parlour asked on talkSPORT, as quoted by the Express. "I'm not knocking Granit Xhaka or people like that, but now Oxlade-Chamberlain is playing in that Liverpool team, he's probably thinking, 'I'm playing with top class players here.'
"I know you could say Mesut Ozil might be in the bracket, but [Alexis] Sanchez has obviously left now and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, we'll have to wait and see if he's good enough to play week-in, week-out and he puts the performances in.
"I just think questions will be asked if Oxlade-Chamberlain improves that much and maybe pushes himself into the England squad under Jurgen Klopp. I totally understand that now.
"He wasn't used enough at Arsenal. He always wanted to play in central midfield and he didn't get that opportunity, he played on the right instead.
"You've got to do your job for the team sometimes and play in different positions, but now he's got that opportunity at Liverpool to do that."