Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: The Ideal Fit For Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 4, 2017: Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FOR as long as I can remember Liverpool have been linked with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, writes DAN VINCENT. Way back in 2011 when he was just a kid making waves at Southampton, Liverpool were one of a number of clubs apparently chasing him before he signed for Arsenal.

Fast forward to summer 2017 and with respected voices like Jonathan Northcroft saying that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a key target for Liverpool, confirming that Jürgen Klopp is an admirer, it looks as if he could be a real possibility for Liverpool and I for one couldn’t be happier.

I’m excited by the prospect of Oxlade-Chamberlain for all the right reasons and below I’m going to try and convince you to get in the ‘Chamberlain is boss’ camp, if you aren’t already. And no, I’m not his secret arl fella or agent.

There’s a lot of talk about him being a player that hasn’t fulfilled his potential but this a 23-year-old lad. He could come in, sign a five-year deal and still only be in his peak years towards the end of that contract. He has all the attributes to become a fantastic player under the guidance of Klopp. Quick, strong, aggressive, energetic; perfect for how Klopp wants to play.

Another major asset is his ability to play in a number of positions. This is a lad who, although predominantly an attacking player, played a major role for Arsenal towards the back end of last season as a right wing back, picking up a number of man of the match awards and starring in their FA Cup final win. He could also play across the midfield three, wide left and wide right. While that’s all well and good and could be handy in times of need, to get the best out of any player you need to play them regularly in a set position, that in the case of Oxlade-Chamberlain would be in the middle of the park.

Last month he said: “On a personal level I really enjoy playing in midfield. The time I played there this year I enjoyed it and thought, this is where I want to be able to play moving forward. Maybe that is my main ambition to end up playing there. But I think it’s a tricky one to nail me down to one position still. Because my attributes, they do go hand in hand with playing out wide as well. And I think it just depends what the best fit for the team is. But I think long-term, I’d hope that I end up playing more central.”

Klopp has expertly moulded roles for Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana in Liverpool’s midfield and that’s where Chamberlain could shine. He has everything they have and is even more explosive over 10-20 yards. That’s not to say either of them should be dropped, or that he’s better than them, but it’s a squad game and there should be different teams for different games. You could easily play Wijnaldum as the deepest midfielder when playing a lesser side at home, for example. Perhaps it could be a diamond of Jordan Henderson, Chamberlain, Lallana and Philippe Coutinho at times. Liverpool need more of a first 18 than a first 11 and the better the options the more success will come.

A major reason for some fans not wanting Chamberlain is his record with injuries. While it’s not unreasonable to be slightly concerned, they aren’t as bad as has been made out. The 2013-14 season is the only year of real concern when you consider that, in his first season, he was just a 17-year-old being made to play in a high number of games.

The other issue is his return of goals and assists. The numbers aren’t great but it’s no coincidence that his best season for goals and assists is the one that’s just finished, where for once Arsene Wenger decided to play him more and put more trust in his player during the bad times. In fact, Chamberlain was one of the only Arsenal players to come out of the season with any credit, as he showed the mentality to front up during their poor form and try to appease the disgruntled supporters, a mature act for a 23-year-old lad.

In a market where world record fees are being touted daily, £25 million for a young English player with loads of first team experience — and crucially Champions League experience — is great value.

And a player like Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a big upgrade on the options Liverpool were forced to call upon at times last season.

Klopp is a manager that players want to play for, he trusts them, it’s an environment in which Chamberlain would thrive, he’s a player that needs an arm round his shoulder and Klopp is up there with the best at instilling confidence into his players.

The faster Liverpool can get the deal done the better, then I can re-order my Oxlade-Chamberlain mask and every morning sing ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ in his bird’s voice while pretending that Wenger is in the room with me.

If we don’t sign him then all of the above is lies and he’s shite, obviously.

@umbrospeciali

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12 Comments

  1. Augustus Mendy

    we are ready to win any player,cup because we are Liverpool fc you’ll never walk alone.VVD,Ox and Keita come to Livepool fc if you want to win Champion League

  2. YER MA'S BOX

    The one player the manager has explicitly denied any interest in.

  3. He would be good as a squad player but isnt that why hes a bit fed up at Arsenal? He doesnt get in our First XI for me even before other signings. The fewm would be tremendous if we just ended up with Salah and him, heads falling off all over the shop.

  4. Take the first line of this article and change it for…..

    “For as long as I remember Liverpool have been linked with Theo Walcott”

    That never happened either and neither will this, Wenger never sells to teams that threaten his top four slot.

    • except the lads he has sold to Chelsea, United and City in the last 10 years or so…
      Sagna, Adebayour, Cole, van Persie, Clichy, Cech……

  5. I’d say the last line is maybe closer to the point here. I’m not convinced. I don’t claim to be an expert becuase God knows I’m not, but he seems a bit samey, in that I don’t think he’s an upgrade on what we have, and by all accounts he certainly wouldn’t be as stellar a difference-maker as Keita, who we obviously are interested in. Klopp would certainly make him better but I think I’d rather spare my 25 million quid and retool Trent as the dominant midfield superstar he is destined to be. And just sign Keita and VVD while we’re at it. Thanks!

    • If memory serves me well, didn’t some fans give Klopp stick for Gini and Sane last season? We all know who is boss now, don’t we? I like the Ox and would love to see him with the liver bird on his chest. Is he an upgrade? That’s debateable but would Keita necessarily be better? That’s debatable too. One thing that’s certain is that only one of them has played at this level for more than one season. Besides we have signed players after one wonderful season in the past and they didn’t live up to expectations. For 70mil I would say move on, 25mil for Chamberlain is a no brainer.

  6. The Ox would be a great addition to the side. He may have issues with injuries but so do a lot of guys in the squad

  7. Danny Mac

    I wouldn’t be unhappy with the signing as he would strengthen the squad and he has bags of experience for a 23 year old. But I haven’t been overly impressed with him in midfield – either for Arsenal or England. He looks better out wide to me, even if he does prefer to play centrally. That’s not to say Klopp can’t improve him but we should also factor in Milner who will be another option when we sign a left back. So I would still sign him, but more to back up Mane and Salah and use in midfield only when necessary. We don’t need to tell him that though…

  8. This is only an agent looking for a bigger contract from Arsenal by linking his client with any club, doesn’t matter who. He’s already on £65,000/week, and I’m guessing his new contract demands are around £90,000-£100,000 with regular first team football a requirement. I don’t think there’s any interest from LFC.

    Oddly enough I’d say his best chance to break through somewhere else in the PL would be Tottenham, but he doesn’t strike me as the Sol Campbell type. Chelsea could be another club, if Conte wants another rotation option at RWB with Moses/Pedro, but that would be a real luxury buy for them.

    His demands leave him at an interesting crossroads. I think if he takes the money, it means he’s joined a club where there’s no guarantee of playing time, and he’s probably the first man off the bench because of his versatility. However if he’s looking for playing time, I believe he’d have to take a step down to West Ham, Leicester, or Crystal Palace. My guess is he’s still at Arsenal when the season starts, but he leaves on a free when his contract runs out.

  9. Matt Bradbury

    Can TAW contributors please stop referring to women as ‘birds’? Or using the C word as if it can ever be taken out of its societal context. I don’t care how ‘Scouse’ it supposedly is, there’s not exceptionalism, it’s just sexist and that’s that.

    • There is an argument to be made that since we use various words describing male genitalia as insults, then it’s only fair that female genitalia should have an equal share in the offensive words canon. It’s nice that you’re concerned about sexism but I think you’ll find the C-word has a long and varied history of usage (including being reclaimed by feminists at some stage); it’s not “just sexist and that’s that”. Articles and academic papers have been written about this word and its power.

      Never thought I’d be defending the C-word on a football site but here we are. (I’m not a fan of the word ‘bird’ to describe female partners but that’s a matter of taste more than anything else).

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