Date: 10th October 2018 at 4:30pm
Written by:

OPINION

It must be hard for any player to face a prolonged period on the sidelines – and that should be no different for Liverpool midfielder Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.

The 25-year-old is expected to miss the majority of the 2018/19 campaign due to sustaining multiple ligament damage in one of Liverpool’s Champions League clashes last season – but teammate Jordan Henderson has heaped praise on the player despite the setback.

Henderson told Liverpool’s official website that Oxlade-Chamberlain will come “straight back” in following his eventual recovery from injury – even though Jurgen Klopp has strengthened his team considerably in the absence of the ex-Arsenal man.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s teammate might have been trying to give him a boost of confidence, but the truth is that the missing man is facing a serious fight for a first team role – as players should not expect to slot right back into the fold after an injury.

Liverpool have progressed a lot since he got injured, and they now play slightly different due to some new additions to the midfield.

Naby Keita impressed upon his arrival, and Jurgen Klopp has also signed Xherdan Shaqiri – meaning that competition for a first team place has now become incredibly fierce.

The midfield maestro undoubtedly impressed before his setback – but he is now going to find that getting in the Liverpool starting XI will be harder than ever.

Klopp will not be able to risk playing Oxlade-Chamberlain upon his immediate return, but he has now found his ideal team combination – and he does not fit into that at this moment in time.

The Reds may have been lacking form recently, but the midfield have really got into a rhythm, and Oxlade-Chamberlain coming into the mix will not help things in the slightest.

Henderson’s comments may have given him a confidence boost, but he cannot expect that Klopp will suddenly change things around now to accommodate him in the first team.