When Liverpool signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jurgen Klopp was adamant we’d bought a player who could instantly provide an option in his preferred ‘no.8 role’ – or on the flank.
But less than two months into the 24-year-old’s Anfield tenure, Klopp’s decided that at the moment, he’s only a suitable option for the wing.
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“At the moment his best position is more the wing that the No 8. Without training, playing in the middle of the park doesn’t make sense,” he told yesterday’s press conference, cited in the Echo.
“I was not only happy about his offensive situations (against United), I also liked the way he reacted after we lost the ball.
“At this moment he is training only on the wing so it is clear. It can never be without training as an eight first. It wouldn’t be good for him, it wouldn’t be good for us.
“For now it makes more sense to pick him in the more offensive positions. But it is not fixed for the next five years.”
Since we bought the Englishman, he’s barely had an opportunity.
Klopp’s granted him just one start, in the Carabao Cup, and he’s only come off the bench in the Premier League and Champions League.
Some fans think he’ll start tonight against Maribor, but Klopp suggested that the trip to Slovenia would be the worst time to consider rotation…
We feel a bit for the former Arsenal player at the moment.
The manager suggests he has a long-term plan for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but that wasn’t the case when we signed Sadio Mane, Gini Wijnaldum or Mo Salah for big money, all of whom went straight into the starting XI.
The fact Mane is injured for six weeks may help Ox’s cause though, considering the Senegalese is normally an automatic starter on the left.