It’s been a long, hard road for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain over the last 18 months. After surprising the Liverpool fans who were skeptical of his last minute transfer from Arsenal and becoming a huge part of Klopp’s team, the English international fell to a long term injury during a Champions League match.
He made his return late last season in a highly limited capacity, but now, as Liverpool storm the Premier League for that long-awaited title, Oxlade-Chamberlain hopes to reintegrate himself fully into the gaffer’s plans.
“For me, off the back of what the boys achieved last season, it’s: can I add that little bit extra, can I add a little bit more to help us as a squad? They did terrific last season and the boys in midfield played a lot of minutes. They played their part, they all rotated really well and came up with really important goals,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“It’s on me to try to bring a little something: run with the ball, link the play and fit in with the rhythm of the boys up front to help them. What they achieved last year was extraordinary.”
The Champions League victory was extraordinary, but Oxlade-Chamberlain bemoaned their close call for that long-awaited league title. He understands that, for Liverpool fans, the title is the Holy Grail, the thing for which we’ve been searching for so long.
“To miss out [on the title] in the way we did was heartbreaking, so as a team we need to do better. With teams like Man City, and how relentless they are, we know we have to do more.
“For me as an individual, my goals are to get back in and around the team and to help push this team forward a little bit more. If we can do that, I can start thinking about what I need to add to my game. For now, the next step is to help the team.”
It’s easy to remember how tenacious, intelligent, and quick Oxlade-Chamberlain was on the ball when he first arrived at Anfield, and how smoothly he helped bring Klopp’s vision to life. If he can return to that level, even with the competition he has now in the midfield, he could still play an important role in the rest of their season.