Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is hurting right now, as he watches his England team-mates earn the country’s love at the World Cup.
Before his injury, picked up in April, Oxlade-Chamberlain looked like he’d be a starter under Gareth Southgate, as his driving runs from midfield and tenacity are perfect for the manager’s 3-4-2-1 formation.
The 24-year-old also missed the Champions League Final for Liverpool – and it’s sadly going to put him out for the beginning of next season as well.
“It’s not an ideal time for me, if I’m being honest,” he told the official website.
“It’s obviously been really tough to miss out at this time of the season, at a time when I was feeling so good and felt like I was really finding my feet at Liverpool.
“I felt I was playing some good stuff, I was playing with a lot of confidence and I was a really enjoying my football, so for it to all come crashing down in one moment, with one tackle, it’s never great – but that’s football.
“As a character I’m positive and I’m trying not to let myself get too down, obviously I’ve got a tough rehab ahead of me and moping around isn’t going to get me through that!
“I’ve been watching the World Cup, following it and supporting the boys every inch of the way.
“I must admit the first game against Tunisia was tough to watch – it’s a moment when you realise what a great opportunity you’re missing, but these things happen in life and I’m keeping positive.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was proving to be a tremendously positive influence on the side before his injury, and we have no doubts he’ll eventually re-find his feet, although he’ll have some job getting into the side!
We’ve bought Naby Keita, who will play in one of the no.8 positions, and Fabinho, who is a no.6 and could push Jordan Henderson forward into one of those roles, too.
What’s more, a playmaker with creative tendencies (Nabil Fekir?) is likely to sign, and that player could theoretically take up one of these spots as well.
But Jurgen Klopp has massive faith in Ox’s ability, and so do we.
We just hope his recovery goes well this summer and he can feature as early in 2018/19 as possible.