Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been promised a role in either the midfield trio or the front-three by Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool’s latest signing has been speaking in length following his transfer, having arrived at Melwood for the first time yesterday after the international break.
At Arsenal, the Englishman ended last season as a right wing-back , often deployed as a left wing-back as well – part of the primary reasons he refused to extend his deal.
Chelsea wanted to use him in this manner as well, meaning when Klopp told Oxlade-Chamberlain how he’d use him for Liverpool, the 24-year-old’s mind was very quickly made up…
He told Liverpool’s official website: “I’ve spoke about this for about six years – my whole career – where I’m going to be playing or where I’d like to play. I just say I’d like to be an attacking midfielder. I’ve spoke to the manager about this, there’s going to be a lot of positions [available] in this team: up-front, because the wingers play a bit more inside, or the midfield. I wouldn’t like to put a label on it at this stage, I need to get a feel for how the team plays and obviously it’s for the manager to decide. But ultimately, I just want to be able to be an attacking influence and have that effect further up the pitch; whether that’s from an attacking midfield position or one of the wider positions coming in, I’m not too fussed.”
Another reason for the switch was that Oxlade-Chamberlain wanted to play under Liverpool’s boss and not Arsenal’s.
Our midfielder started for England at Euro 2012 aged 18, but five years on, he’s not kicked on to the extent many would have hoped – largely because of the way he was managed by the veteran Frenchman.
Oxlade-Chamberlain cannot wait to start working under Klopp, a man he’s lavished praise on.
“Even as a neutral watching him last season, you [could see] he’s a really interesting character and someone that seems very inspiring for people that aren’t even involved in the club,” he began.
“Watching him, [you see] his passion and how much he cares about the game.
“The thing that stood out for me was his relationship with the players, how close he seems to bond with the players on and off the field.
“That’s massive and it’s definitely a big plus when you’re looking to progress, having that relationship with the manager, that definitely helps.”