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Liverpool: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain “never lets you down”, says Dion Dublin

Liverpool: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain “never lets you down”, says Dion Dublin

BBC pundit Dion Dublin hailed the consistency of Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Football Focus (12:09, Saturday, September 21st) and said that he is at the ideal club.

Speaking about the 26-year-old England international, Dublin said that he is a player who never lets his side down and is thriving under a manager in Jurgen Klopp who trusts in him.

Dublin said on Football Focus [via Live4Liverpool]: “I think he knows what he can bring to the side when he is fit and flying. [He] likes to get forward, likes to create, can score a goal as well.

“He never lets you down. He’s always a seven and a half, eight, every single time he goes over the white line.

“The big thing is, the manager trusts him. I think the Ox is in a good place at the moment and is at the perfect club.”

While some of Dublin’s words about the midfielder are accurate, he also had a couple of assertions which could be challenged.

When it comes to ball retention in this Liverpool team, few have been better than Oxlade-Chamberlain. Of those who have started a Premier League game for the Reds so far this season, only Georginio Wijnaldum has a better passing accuracy rating (92% to 91.6%). [via WhoScored.com]

The 26-year-old’s dribbling statistics support Dublin’s claim about him liking to get forward, with his average of 1.8 dribbles per game the joint second highest in the Liverpool squad alongside Mohamed Salah and inferior only to Roberto Firmino (2.6). [via WhoScored.com]

In terms of his creativity, Oxlade-Chamberlain scored five goals and created another eight in 42 appearances in his first season at Anfield in 2017/18 (0.12 goals and 0.19 assists per game). [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]

He hasn’t been involved in any goals since then, but one must consider that he has only played 271 minutes of first team football since a serious knee injury that kept him out for a year. If it gets to the winter months and he hasn’t added to that tally despite playing regularly, then his goal contribution output could perhaps be legitimately questioned.

As for Dublin’s remarks about the midfielder being “always a seven and a half, eight”, a cross-section of player ratings from reporters this season suggests otherwise.

His performance against Southampton in August earned an eight rating from Joanna Durkan of This Is Anfield, but only a six from Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo and The Mirror‘s Neil McLeman.

On his next Premier League start against Newcastle, he earned a seven rating from This Is Anfield‘s Karl Matchett but only a 6.5 from Russell Hughes of rushthekop.com.

There have been some positives from Oxlade-Chamberlain so far this season, not least his excellent passing success rate, but he isn’t yet fulfilling Dublin’s assertion about being a 7.5-rated player in every game and needs a couple of goals or assists to make his performances tangibly reap dividends for Liverpool.

Liverpool fans, do you agree with Dublin’s comments about Oxlade-Chamberlain or should the midfielder be offering more to the team? Join in the discussion by commenting below!

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