Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t close to making his first appearance of the season – not by some distance…
The Englishman picked up a knock to his knee during pre-season, and hasn’t even trained outside since, which is a little worrying – although we have lots of depth in midfield and on the flanks – the positions he’d be competing in.
In a Q&A session for the Athletic yesterday, LFC correspondent James Pearce said that while Fabinho is set to miss only one more game – Manchester City on Sunday – there is no word yet on the fitness of the former Arsenal man.
“The hope with Fabinho is that he will be ok after the international break. Not as bad as first feared. Oxlade taking longer than initially anticipated and to my knowledge hasn’t started training outside yet,” he said.
Injuries, in many ways, have defined Ox’s Liverpool tenure. He’s put in some brilliant performances, and is a wonderful lad – someone we’re more than happy to have at the club and in the squad – but he’s never quite made a position his own.
The closest he got was probably in the first season, but he then injured his cruciate ligaments in the Champions League semi-final and was out of action for an entire year.
With Thiago arriving and sure to nail down an automatic starting spot when fit, the chances for Ox in his favoured central positions look increasingly slim, especially with the emergence of Curtis Jones, too.