Liverpool supporters have been much louder in the Transfer Tavern in recent weeks after seeing their side return to form with three victories in the space of seven days, two of which combining to propel them up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Jurgen Klopp’s men dispatched Huddersfield Town 3-0 a fortnight ago before easing past Maribor in the Champions League by the same score line, thus giving them plenty of confidence for their trip to struggling West Ham a week ago. And they made it three wins in a week as a Mohamed Salah brace as well as goals from Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed a comprehensive 4-1 victory for the Reds at the London Stadium, which helped them move above Arsenal into fifth place in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many upbeat and delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern this week, and many are already wishing the weekend was upon them so they can see their team aim for four wins on the bounce against Southampton on Saturday.
In the meantime though, there is plenty for those Liverpool fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least a recent report from The Daily Star which suggests that Emre Can could leave the club for Manchester City at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old moved to Anfield back in 2014 and has since become an increasingly important member of Klopp’s Liverpool squad, having appeared in 32 of their 38 Premier League games last term, with his five goals helping them to a fourth place finish.
However, the Germany international has yet to sign a new deal with the Merseyside club, and with his current one due to expire in the summer, it is becoming increasingly likely that his future is away from Anfield.
And reports have been linking him with both Juventus and now Manchester City, in a deal which, if it takes place, could perhaps bring the best out of another Liverpool star, namely Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And that’s because the £27 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) would get more chances to prove his worth in the centre of midfield, and thus fulfil the potential he has threatened for so many years.
Ultimately, the 24-year-old made the move to Liverpool over the summer in a bid for more regular first team football, and to play more often in the centre of midfield. Yet, as per Transfermarkt, the England star has played in the centre of Klopp’s midfield just once in the Premier League so far, and that was an 11-minute cameo against Burnley back in September.
And that’s because, at the moment, Klopp feels that he has better options in Can, Jordan Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum, and with Adam Lallana on the road to recovery, Oxlade-Chamberlain may find chances even harder to come by.
But were Liverpool to lose Can, be it in January or at the end of the season, the 24-year-old would finally get a chance in that central midfield area, as Klopp would need someone forward-thinking but also defensively disciplined to fill Can’s void – Oxlade-Chamberlain could do that.
When someone seeks to move clubs in a bid to play in the centre of midfield, it shows that the man himself is confident in his ability to play there, and it’s a nod to the manager to give him an opportunity there – after all, they spent £35 million on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
But Can moving on could well bring the best out of the Englishman, as it would give him the chance he has been crying out for, whether it’s in the early stages of his Liverpool career, or indeed throughout his time at Arsenal.
Oxlade-Chamberlain rarely earned a sustained run in the side at the Emirates Stadium, but Can’s departure would surely give him that at Liverpool, and thus give him the platform to produce his best and start repaying that £35 million price-tag – ultimately, there will be no more excuses.
Yes, Can’s seemingly inevitable departure will be a huge blow to Liverpool, but it could well open up the opportunity for Oxlade-Chamberlain to show his worth and finally live up to his undoubted potential.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!