When a player admits that he always wanted to be Steven Gerrard in midfield and gets the opportunity to play for Liverpool, it might be worth finding out what the legend himself thinks if said player moves to the club of Shankly, Paisley, Fagan, and Dalglish. After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Merseyside’s finest for £35 million on deadline day, Liverpool’s under-18 manager had his say.
"Well I think he’s already become a fantastic player, and that’s the reason why we spent £35m on him," the Liverpool legend said. "I think he definitely strengthens the group and the team.
"He’s English, he’s 24, he’s just coming into his peak years, he’s very quick and an exciting player. He seems as if he wasn’t happy at Arsenal, so now hopefully he can settle down and give his best years of his career to Liverpool Football Club.
"I think it’s a very positive signing."
The qualities of the player should be an ideal fit for the robust, energetic, and technical game that Jürgen Klopp has brought to Liverpool. Gerrard knows what it takes to succeed at a club with a particular set of demands and expectations, but his praise does not appear to be empty. There is real potential within Oxlade-Chamberlain; moreover, with Philippe Coutinho staying and Naby Keïta arriving next summer, there is the requisite competition for places in midfield.
As Gerrard pointed out, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been signed for the team and the squad. The dynamic and industrious midfielder only turned 24 last month after six seasons at Arsenal, but he now has the opportunity to progress under a manager that appreciates verticality, effort, professionalism, talent, technique, focused aggression, and a real appetite for hard work.