FSG backed Jürgen Klopp in bringing long-rumoured target Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool in a £35m deadline day transfer. The 24-year-old has yet to earn the starting role he left the Emirates to find, making appearances from the bench in each of the three matches in which he’s featured since the move.
All of that is set to change, as the start of Liverpool’s League Cup campaign today against Leicester City will likely give the utility man his first start under Klopp. However, the German himself has sought to reaffirm the place his newest signing has in his plans for the squad:
"I thought it made complete sense for Alex to change clubs and to come here,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference. "He has settled in perfectly. He knew at least all the England players and a few others.
"He is a really nice lad so it is easy for him to settle into a new team. He knows the situation.
"He played all the games for Arsenal from the beginning and now he comes here and is on the bench so it looks, 'Oh, not the best decision', but it is long-term thing.
"We want to use him and to prepare him also. It is all good from this side at the moment."
After a frustrating start to the season for Chamberlain, the last straw of which was his being repeatedly fielded as a wing back in his last few matches under Arsène Wenger, the versatile attacker snubbed a big money offer from Chelsea and chose Anfield in search of playing time in his preferred roles in midfield and the forward line.
"A new start is very often a kind of relief, that's how it is," Klopp went on to say. "You are in a situation with your old club—and I don't say this about Alex specifically —and you accept it and it is difficult to make the next step.
"Arsenal changed a lot since Arsène is there. I am sure they didn't always play with three at the back and with wing-backs and so Alex played in different positions when he was there.”
Despite the mixed feelings many on Merseyside have had towards the polarizing youngster, Liverpool fans will still be hoping that their Klopp’s famed man management skills and teaching ability on the training pitch will finally be able to bring the full potential the English international has only shown in flashing since bursting into the top flight as a teenager.
"Probably when Alex was 18 or 19 people thought he would be 'the man'—as people think a lot of times pretty early—and immediately you put a rucksack on their back. That makes development not easy.” But, Klopp added, "He's at a perfect age and is still able to make big steps."