Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opens up on donning the left winger’s role for Liverpool
The Englishman joined the Reds from Arsenal in 2017 and went on to enjoy a promising start to his career at Anfield. Unfortunately an injury sustained against AS Roma that season derailed his progress and largely saw him fall from grace.
Ox is a squad player at beast and is likely to leave the club next summer when his contract runs out. He has fallen down the pecking order in recent years and will be considered as an unfortunate example of unfulfilled talent.
Now back to full fitness, the 29-year-old has a few more months to go to add to his name in the club’s history. With Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota both out injured, Jurgen Klopp decided to deploy the Ox as his left winger against Aston Villa.
Ox lasted 67 minutes and gave a fair return for his services in the role. While he has played in the position before, this is just the fifth time that he has done so in a Liverpool jersey. While he would have liked to impact the game more, Ox did quite well in the unfamiliar role and impressed.
“I just tried to make sure I did the defensive job for the team. Obviously playing out on the left, it’s a little bit new and we are doing it slightly different.”
Alongside Ox, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah formed the front three for the Reds at Villa Park. The latter two’s focus more towards scoring goals, the task fell upon the Ox to help out the team defensively by dropping deep.
“I have to be the one that sort of drops in deep, deeper from the front line, then has to get up and support as well, so I’m learning that.”
At 29, it is unlikely that Ox will be shifted to the left-wing permanently, especially now that Liverpool have agreed on a deal for Cody Gakpo. However, given his versatility, Klopp will have more options at his disposal should it come to that.
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With still much to play for, Liverpool will be keen to keep their winning run going. Ox might not be an automatic first choice starter but he has shown enough willingness and versatility to emerge as a jack of all trades when needed.