Jurgen Klopp has claimed that he’s been most impressed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s counter-pressing, something Arsene Wenger wouldn’t have necessarily encouraged at Arsenal.
The Englishman arrived from the Emirates this summer for £35m and is slowly starting to make his mark on the team – playing his first 90 minutes at Anfield on Wednesday night in the 3-0 win over Maribor.
“He was good, he offered a lot, I loved his counter-pressing situations,” he said after the game, reported in the Metro.
“I’m not sure he did this a lot of times in his life already so it was really nice to see!”
Ox has the physical and mental attributes to be a superb counter-presser. He’s quick, strong and has a low centre of gravity – but is bullish and feisty in equal measure.
If he can consistently win us the ball back high up the field, he’ll begin to have a much more prominent role under Klopp – who has so far used him sparingly.
Ox has limited final quality, but with some of Liverpool’s other attackers abundantly gifted in that respect, his role in the side may not necessarily be a traditional one.
At Borussia Dortmund, Klopp came to trust Kevin Großkreutz and Jakub “Kuba” Błaszczykowski implicitly, due to their phenomenal work-rate off the ball.
Oxlade-Chamberlain could be Liverpool’s version of that pair.