One of the greatest wingers in Liverpool’s history John Barnes has backed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to come good.
Since arriving from Arsenal on deadline day for £35m, Oxlade-Chamberlain has barely featured in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team.
In fact, he’s played more for England than he has for Liverpool in that time.
His only start has been against Leicester in the Carabao Cup, where it would be unfair to wholly judge because he wasn’t playing alongside regular first-teamers.
Barnes says fans have currently not shown enough patience with the 24-year-old and that his average form off the bench has only been in line with his team-mates, anyway.
Barnes Standard Sport: “He hasn’t started all the games but he’s come to be a main player at Liverpool for, hopefully, the next five, six or seven years.
“We’re too quick to judge. When players come in and do well we say they are fantastic. And if they aren’t in the team and don’t start, we say it’s a disaster. It’s not.
“I think he’s a fantastic player. He’s probably a reflection of the team. He’s come to be part of a good team and because the team has been inconsistent, maybe he’s been inconsistent.
“But I think he’ll be a fantastic signing for Liverpool long-term.”
Barnes is spot on, here.
How Oxlade-Chamberlain is being judged already is crazy. He simply hasn’t had any chances.
But now Sadio Mane is injured, Klopp may decide it’s time to unleash his latest signing properly.
Against United tomorrow, we actually think he’ll push Coutinho into the front-three and go with Henderson/Can/Wijnaldum centrally – but midweek against Maribor – Oxlade-Chamberlain will definitely be an option.
We’d love him to prove his doubters wrong.