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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is relishing the opportunity to play a part in Liverpool’s explosive counterattacking football.
The Reds’ deadline-day signing produced his best performance since arriving at the club in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, thriving as part of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield trio.
Besides setting the tone early on with his aggressive work rate, the 24-year-old served as a driving force behind Liverpool’s ruthless quick breaks.
His swift ball retrieval and attacking qualities saw him emerge as a valuable link man as the Reds persisted to catch the hosts out of position.
Reflecting on his side’s display, he told Liverpoolfc.com: “We set the trap, win the ball high and then we go. And when we go, we know we can be devastating.”
“It’s nice to be a part of. It’s great that the attacking boys have been doing well. But I think you’ve got to give big credit to people like Dejan and Raggy at the back as well; when you dominate games you can always be caught on the counter, especially with people like Defoe up front and King in the first half, who are good at running in behind.”
“They had to be really switched on and they did it all through the game. It’s what we needed, three points were crucial.”
“It’s obviously nicer when you can do it with a big gap and a great performance. We did that. But, ultimately, we just needed the three points – that was crucial.”
After dropping points against Everton and West Brom in their previous two outings, Liverpool were back to their frightening best going forward against Eddie Howe’s men.
Whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain marshalled Liverpool’s midfield, an attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho tormented Bournemouth’s defence with typically sharp exchanges and interchanging across the front line.
Sunday was the latest instalment of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s gradual adaptation to Klopp’s system and philosophies.
The former Arsenal man, as his attributes hinted he would upon his arrival, is beginning to look a perfect fit to a team that largely bases its approach on pace and directness.
In a period of team rotation on Merseyside, Oxlade-Chamberlain has an ideal opportunity to stake his claim for a regular starting spot.