Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has taken time to praise Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, after his former team-mate labelled Henry’s negative previous comments about him ‘stupid’.
The Frenchman had suggested that Ox didn’t have any noticeable strings to his bow, but has now admitted to being impressed with the England international’s transformation under Jurgen Klopp.
The 24-year-old has impressed in recent victories over West Ham and Newcastle, assisting Mo Salah in both the Anfield matches.
Henry told Sky Sports: “Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves praise for what he’s done during his short time at Liverpool so far. But we didn’t see that clearly at Arsenal.
“My point is if I use the example of Frank Lampard, everybody knew what he was good at. His forte was running from deep – making late runs into the box and scoring goals. And also giving plenty of assists.
“At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position is. One day he was a wing back, one day he was a left winger, one day a right winger and on another a No.10. That was the problem, we just didn’t know.
“It’s so difficult to find out who you are and what you are good at if you don’t have a run of games in a settled position. It’s really difficult to get your momentum going and the stats back that up. In 132 games for Arsenal in the Premier League he only scored nine goals and got 14 assists but for Liverpool, he already has three goals and five assists.
“For Liverpool, we are now seeing a midfielder that puts the pressure on the opposition at every opportunity, he wins the ball back, he scores goals and also gives assists. Now we can see clearly what type of player he is.
“We can now see the player he can become at Liverpool. The potential was always there. Now, he is playing magnificently well. If he continues at his current ratio of goals and assists, he will go past the ratio he achieved at Arsenal so easily.
“He is a different player from the one we saw at the Gunners and the Arsenal fans would have loved to have seen this Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates Stadium.”
Henry’s comments are completely justified, we reckon.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal and assist return for an attacking midfielder was woeful at the Emirates, but he’s correcting that under Klopp.
The German has given him an identity as an energetic, pressing midfielder who has licence to drive through the centre of the park.
He’s only going to improve at Liverpool under the German, who’s visibly instilled belief and confidence into him.
While Arsenal are floundering in sixth place and competing in the Europa League, Liverpool are fighting for 2nd and will be competing in the Champions League quarters soon.