Jurgen Klopp is excited at the potential he is now seeing in big-money summer signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 24-year-old England international swapped Arsenal for Liverpool in August in a deal worth £35m and, having taken some time to settle, gave his best performance yet in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a more central berth in Klopp’s midfield in that game and he duly laid on Mohamed Salah’s goal while he almost netted a superb solo effort of his own having burst through the Cherries cover with a powerful run from deep only to see his shot cannon back off the upright. For Klopp, it was a hugely promising showing from a player that gives him real encouragement going forward. “He is on a very good way.
I like it, but he has so much potential it’s unbelievable, what he still not shows,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “It’s only just the beginning and I really like it, I really like it. He’s like a wonderful package, I can only say. “Hopefully he stays fit, that’s the most important thing. He can be much more decisive in a few moments. [He’s sometimes a] little bit too much of a midfielder instead of a striker – there are a lot of things he can improve, but I’m really happy about the status quo.” Oxlade-Chamberlain will be keeping his fingers crossed that the manager’s positive words will see him hold onto his starting place for Friday night’s clash with former side Arsenal at the Emirates.
The trip to north London will be a daunting challenge, says the Reds boss, but he believes a positive outcome is possible. “The next game is waiting, Arsenal away. That’s not a children’s birthday [party] – that will be really hard, but should be hard for both teams. There is something possible for us,” he added.
Liverpool are 2.80 to win on Friday, with Arsenal 2.50 and the draw 3.60.