Before his unfortunate and ill-timed injury during his first season with the Reds, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had been a revelation in Klopp’s evolving midfield trio. Klopp made the dreaded ‘like a new signing’ declaration for Oxlade-Chamberlain during this summer when considering the prospect of the English international returning to full fitness.
It’s taken a bit for him to bed back into the grind of constant football, but Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Liverpool’s most important players in recent games.
He’s now scored four goals in his last four games, including bagging the winner against Racing Genk at Anfield on Tuesday in order to vault Liverpool to the top of their Champions League group.
“I feel like I’m getting better,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said after his big winner.
”But when I took one on the ankle and went down, I was a bit disappointed because usually when I feel sharp I manage to get past him there.
”I maybe underestimated him a little bit but they’re the type of moments where I feel like I’ve not just quite got that fully back yet. I feel like a need to be sharper in those moments to burst through and get running, change things and break lines.”
Despite his tough self-assessment, Oxlade-Chamberlain feels confident that he’ll get to those same heights we’d seen when he first arrived from Arsenal.
“Overall, I think there’s more to come from me for sure. To get into the team you’ve got to be able to press in a certain way with a certain intensity.
“If you’re not sort of hitting those standards then you’ll struggle to get a game regularly, so I’ve been battling to try to get that side of things back. I think I can improve on that.
”Also on my attacking as well, I think I can improve on that, but I’m confident it will come and I’ll keep working as hard as I can. I’ll make sure it comes.
”That’s all I can do and in the meantime it’s just good to be back and involved and helping the boys win and keep this team moving forward in any way I can, like everyone does. I think it’s coming but I’m not there yet.”
He may not be at full throttle yet, but even still recovering, Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored some pivotal goals already this season. They’ll be no shortage of chances for him to continue to improve as the season progresses and the Reds fight on four different fronts.