Liverpool’s former England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is venturing closer to a return, having been out of action since July.
What’s the latest?
The 29-year-old sustained a serious hamstring injury in Liverpool’s pre-season tour win against Crystal Palace in late July, with Klopp saying around three months ago: “It’s a serious hamstring injury and it will take longer. But it’s a hamstring, and we all hate this word, we hate the injury but anyway it happens from time to time and now Ox was the one.”
Fast forward to now, and the Liverpool ace is nearing a return, with Klopp acknowledging the additional support and patience needed to get the midfielder back to his best.
Ahead of last night’s game against West Ham United, the German said: “Oxlade is getting closer, yesterday full team training but that needs time. [He] was out for a while and now we have to make sure that he can put all the sessions in his legs, which he needs.”
A promising note
The impending return of the £120k-per-week Oxlade-Chamberlain is quite promising for Klopp, who clearly appreciates the 35-cap England international‘s service as a player, having called upon him 17 times in the league last season.
The versatile midfielder is progressive in his central role and offers Liverpool a different dimension in the engine room, averaging 8.01 progressive carries per match and embedding himself in prosperous positions which see him receive 5.5 progressive passes per game.
He is defensively astute too and offers a lot to the first line of defence, with 6.8 pressures in the attacking third per game and a successful pressures rate of 41.6% – a very favourable return in comparison to positionally similar players across Europe’s top five leagues, as per FBref.
Whenever it comes, his return will be a big boon for Klopp, especially in the midst of the condensed fixture schedule ahead of the World Cup.