Jurgen Klopp insists he will not axe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer as the Liverpool boss backs midfielder to come back stronger after a frustrating season
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been limited to just ten league games this season
- The 27-year-old missed four months of the season due to medial ligament woes
- Jurgen Klopp maintains he will not sell the midfielder despite his lack of chances
- The Liverpool manager expects Oxlade-Chamberlain to be the Reds’ future
Jurgen Klopp is counting on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to be part of Liverpool’s future after admitting the midfielder has been a victim of circumstance this season.
It has been a campaign to forget for many of Liverpool’s players but the frustrations have been more acute for Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose last start was in the Premier League on January 21 and who has been limited to just 274 minutes of playing time.
Oxlade-Chamberlain required surgery last summer after he damaged his medial ligament during a freak incident during a training session in pre-season, which forced him to miss four months, and so few opportunities mean he will not be part of England’s squad for the European Championships.
Jurgen Klopp (left) expects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (middle) to be part of Liverpool’s future
The 27-year-old has endured an injury-hit season to forget, playing just 10 times in the league
Many have wondered whether Oxlade-Chamberlain will be vulnerable this summer, particularly if Klopp makes changes to his squad, but Liverpool’s manager threw his support behind the 27-year-old. He wants to see the midfielder return for pre-season firing and insisted he has a role to play.
‘The summer is important for all of us,’ said Klopp. ‘When you don’t start games and you have to use every training session and every minute on the pitch to convince. I don’t have to be convinced, actually, but it’s about showing up in these kinds of moments.
‘Ox had some good moments; he has shown up really well and that is good. This situation is not always easy for all the boys not only Ox, but for Naby, not easy for Shaq – I know that. During this season, a lot of things have happened. One thing we try to do is get balance, rhythm and stability.
Klopp wants Oxlade-Chamberlain to put unfortunate circumstances behind him and push on
‘That means you don’t change these kinds of positions too often during games and that is it pretty much. So a few things in midfield need to be different to other times when we were much more settled and stable. That is the reason why some players don’t have enough minutes.
‘They understand the situation; that is clear. But hopefully that will completely change next year because when you have more stability in the last line then you can be more flexible formation-wise further up the pitch. Am I counting on him for next season? Yes.’
Klopp is desperate to draw a line under the campaign and start afresh and he believes Thiago Alcantara, his standout signing last summer, will be seen in a completely different light next season after struggling to adapt following his £20million move from Bayern Munich.
Klopp also wants summer signing Thiago Alcantara (left) to start afresh from next season
‘We are completely happy with him,’ said Klopp. ‘We will see the best of him. I don’t think we saw it already but that is not a problem. We are 100 per cent convinced we will get the best out of him because he is a world-class player.’
Liverpool face five games in the final fortnight, owing to last week’s postponement at Old Trafford. Klopp spoke for the first time publicly about the incidents that led to the clash with Manchester United being called off and forewarned of the potential for such an occurrence.
‘When all the pundits were asking for protests, I said we need to be careful and calm down, to ask for the right things,’ said Klopp. I don’t know exactly what happened there but I heard some policeman got injured and these kinds of things should not happen for sure.
‘You shouldn’t break down the doors. To tell the world what you think about things is completely fine, as long as it is completely peaceful and as far as I know it wasn’t completely peaceful and then it is not right anymore.’