After a few strong cameo outings, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got his first league start since he signed on with Liverpool from Arsenal in a £35M deal. He impressed, and the question now will be how Jürgen Klopp fits his attacking options into the elven when Liverpool face Southampton on November 18th.
There will be time and need for rest and rotation over the next month or two, but at least for the time being, former Liverpool star John Aldridge believes Oxlade-Chamberlain has earned a place in the starting eleven—the only real question is where in the starting eleven that place ends up being.
“I thought [he] had his best game for us after starting on Saturday,’ Aldridge noted in The Liverpool Echo. “He’s needed a couple of games but it’s obvious he’s starting to settle in now. Jurgen played him on the right of midfield but he’s a player who is starting to give the manager so many options now.
“He can play wide right or left and of course we know he wants to play in midfield. For now though it's just important he plays and then see what happens. Those central midfield positions are incredibly competitive at Liverpool and we've got the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana coming back soon.”
Of course, if Coutinho and Lallana are ready to go—and there’s a good chance both will be following the international break, with Coutinho fit enough to head off with Brazil and Lallana back in training—that would rather complicate the question of where Oxlade-Chamberlain fits in to start.
Even if Lallana needs time to get back up to match speed, it’s hard to fit him in with Coutinho in midfield and Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah manning the wings. Still, based on his performances so far—capped off by his start on the weekend—it’s clear that he has earned a larger role for his new club.