The lowdown: Benchwarmer
The 28-year-old has had mixed fortunes since joining the Reds from Arsenal for £35m in 2017 (BBC), often thwarted by injuries including a lengthy layoff during most of the 2018/19 season due to a crucial ligament rupture suffered against AS Roma towards the end of the preceding campaign.
In spite of those issues, the midfielder has made 133 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side, playing a part in the club’s most recent Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup successes.
Now into the final 12 months of his contract on Merseyside, following a campaign which saw the former England regular remain on the bench on 20 occasions, one intrigued onlooker has assessed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s chances of consistent game-time ahead of the 2022/23 campaign…
The latest: Campbell backs Oxlade-Chamberlain
Speaking to Football Insider, former Everton marksman Campbell suggested that the 35-cap ace can still play a major role in Klopp’s plans, after images emerged of his involvement in pre-season training.
The talkSPORT pundit said: “He is at Liverpool so he has got a chance. We all know that talent wise, he is brilliant. Nobody can question his talent.
“His availability has been the problem. When he does get a chance in the team he needs to take it. You have to. That is the level at Liverpool now.
“If you go in and coast, you are not going to chance. If you are not starting you are not realistically playing. The fact of the matter is, he has used his brain. He has gone into the close season, got super fit and is ready to start pre-season well.
“Why not have a right go at it. He has nothing to lose now. Have a right go at it and leave nothing on the side. If it doesn’t work out at least he can say he tried everything.”
The verdict: One last hoorah…
In truth, the £14.4m-valued Englishman’s availability was less of an issue than in previous years last term as the dynamic midfielder made the matchday squad 49 times, with 29 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals and providing three assists in the process.
Whilst there is no doubting that on his day Oxlade-Chamberlain – who was branded ‘electric’ by football writer Liam Bekker in 2020 – can be an unstoppable force whose versatility makes him stand out from many amongst Klopp’s squad, all too often the fleeting performances haven’t been enough to warrant a prolonged run in the side.
Should Liverpool keep or sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?
That said, with another gruelling campaign ahead and a potential World Cup squad place still up for grabs, a fit and firing Oxlade-Chamberlain – who also has a new contract to play for – could be an exciting proposition for the Anfield faithful to behold over the next few months.
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