The sight of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in pain on the Anfield pitch was a punch in the gut for Liverpool supporters, the player himself and Jürgen Klopp’s plans for the remainder of the season. Klopp has already lost Emre Can to injury. The German midfielder has no return date set but is running out of time to make a difference in either of Liverpool’s two battlefronts. Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other hand, was quickly ruled out of any competitive fixtures until next season, meaning the England player will miss Liverpool’s close of the Premier League season, the final assault on the Champions League as well as the World Cup.
As is often the case, injuries happen in otherwise innocuous situations on the pitch. Against AS Roma, AOC made an assured and successful challenge, winning the ball inside Liverpool’s half but found that his knee was happy to turn a harmless moment in a full-blown crisis. That’s football.™
“I have no words for that,” said Klopp.
“I cannot believe that this wonderful player, person, boy, guy, whatever, in such a positive situation, helping the team, having a clear, clear challenge, something like this happened.
“I really have no words for that. When I saw it back I thought ‘Wow.’ It’s just a shame.
“It’s not fair, to be honest. But that’s how life is sometimes. How do you say? If you get a lemon, make lemonade. And that’s what we have to do and that’s what Alex is doing with it.
“He’s an absolute positive person and he will be back.
“I told him already we will wait for him like a good wife when a man is in prison.”
Klopp will make do with the players that are available to him but is clearly devastated for Chamblerlain, who should have been able to end is first season on Merseyside on a high note to match the resonance of his performances under the manager’s guidance.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined from Arsenal last summer to mixed reviews from the Liverpool faithful but fully deserves some post-season fanfare in light of the mark he’s made in this Liverpool side. Next season awaits.