Why Liverpool’s Oxlade-Chamberlain Signing May Not Add Any Depth to Their Squad

Filed under Premier League

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed a £40m deadline day transfer from Arsenal to Liverpool, ending his six-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.

His move to Anfield was no surprise. Linked with a move away from Arsenal all summer, the fee paid to secure his services raised questions over whether he is actually worth that amount.

Arsenal were humiliated 4-0 at Anfield in a match where Oxlade-Chamberlain found himself being scrutinized by fan criticism for an extremely poor performance. It was obvious the 24-year-old had made up his mind to leave already.

£40m is a good return on investment for Arsenal since he was bought for £12m in 2011.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, failed to nail down both a regular position and place with the Gunners. In his six years at the club, the England international did not develop into a reliable player. His longest run in the starting line-up was six – between December 2012 and January 2013. In 198 appearances for Arsenal mostly in an attacking position, his return of 20 goals is poor.

Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Arsenal as a wide-man, but has made no secret of his desire to play in the central midfield. It’s a position he was unable to make his own and a major factor in his move. However, will he get that at his new club?

Lately featured as a wing-back, injuries and inconsistent performances has hampered his progress. With Arsene Wenger unable to trust him, moving to a central midfield role was impossible. Can he expect any different from Jurgen Klopp? Even Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wanted him as a back-up for Victor Moses in the wing-back role.

With the array of stars in Liverpool’s midfield, can the Englishman hope to dislodge any of them? Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, and Philippe Coutinho won’t give up the central berths lightly. Nor will Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah or Adam Lallana, returning from injury, be easy to dislodge from the attacking roles.

Is Oxlade-Chamberlain needed at Liverpool? Does he add depth to the squad? He may find himself in the same position as he was at Arsenal: playing second fiddle.

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