After a strong second half to the 2017-18 season with Liverpool, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw his season ended prematurely when he picked up a knee injury against Roma in the first half of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
As a result, he missed out on playing a key role in the tie, missed out on the Champions League final, and is now missing out on the World Cup where he likely would have started for England if he’d been fit. All told, he could be forgiven for being a little disappointed.
“It’s not an ideal time for me, if I’m being honest,” the midfielder told the club’s official website. “It’s obviously been really tough to miss out at this time of the season, at a time when I was feeling so good and felt like I was really finding my feet.
“For it to all come crashing down with one tackle it’s never great—but that’s football. As a character I’m positive and I’m trying not to let myself get too down. I’ve got a tough rehab ahead of me and moping around isn’t going to get me through that.”
Moping won’t help, but that’s easier said than done when watching his teammates for club and country playing important matches—though at 24 years of age he will believe this won’t end up his only chance to play in games of this magnitude.
Right now, having been sidelined for what would have been his first major European final and a now a chance to play in the World Cup hurts. But there will be other big games; other big moments. If he can play again as he did last season, they will come.
“I must admit the first game against Tunisia was tough to watch,” he added. “It’s a moment when you realise what a great opportunity you’re missing, but these things happen in life and I’m keeping positive.”