After six years with Arsenal, Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain made the move to Liverpool last season in what came as a shock move late on in the transfer window.
During his time at Arsenal, the England international had always shown flashes of his talent but had never played consistently. Stating that his preferred position was through the middle, the former Southampton man was at times given his chance to play there but in truth, he never played well enough to cement himself in the team.
With his desired midfield position out of reach and with Arsenal seemingly going into a terrible season in the league, the move to Anfield made complete sense for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Instantly, the former Southampton academy graduate was inserted into Klopp’s side. His ability to drive forward with the ball and just his overall energy was an ideal fit for Liverpool’s high-press and quick transitional play. Moreover, he provided an excellent backup to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on the wings.
As the season wore on and Liverpool picked up form, his role in midfield would become more prominent, even more so with the departure of Philippe Coutinho. Without the Brazilian, Liverpool needed a player that could step in and provide that link between midfield and attack, and although Oxlade-Chamberlain may not provide the Brazilian’s playmaking ability, he’s an excellent man to have in the team.
In what came as devastating news for the midfielder, he suffered a crucial ligament injury against Roma in the Champions League Semi-final. Unfortunately for the England man, the injury would rule him out of not just the Champions League Final but also the England squad for the World Cup. Such was the severity of the injury, that Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the rest of the season and as confirmed by Jurgen Klopp ahead of this season, he will purely focus on his rehab.
With the arrival of Naby Keita and now Fabinho, Liverpool’s midfield has improved massively and coupled with the superb form of James Milner and Wijnaldum, it’s going to be tough for Chamberlain to get back into the side.
At the moment, it’s tough to call what will happen with England international. He’s at a good team where competition is high and after a year out, he may find it difficult to replicate the form he showed during the early part of his Liverpool career.