James Milner has gushed over returning injured stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez as the duo are set for returns from respective long term spells on the sideline.

Liverpool will have both fully fit in a couple weeks as Joe Gomez returned to training on Wednesday while Chamberlain will be back next week.

“I think it’s important that we have everyone available. That’s why you need a squad when you have these sorts of injuries and stuff,” Milner told the club website.

“Ox has obviously been out a long time and was playing fantastically well before he got injured, Joe the same. He’s been brilliant when he’s played this season and formed a great partnership with Virgil.

“And all credit to Joel [for] coming and stepping in when he’s had his own injury problems – he stepped in straight away like he’d never been away – and obviously Dejan is coming back and things like that.”

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Gomez’s return to training is a huge boost as it means that Liverpool now have backup for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.

 

Dejan Lovren is also back and there will be healthy competition between now and the end of the season for starting spots in central defence.

Meanwhile, Chamberlain will be out of action for another week as he suffered a minor setback when he played for the U21s just over a week ago. While he will likely get a few minutes for the first team before the end of the season, I doubt he will feature heavily given what’s at stake.

The Englishman will, however, have an entire pre-season over the summer to get fit and ensure he can be ready to start the 2019/20 season in the best way possible.

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The 25-year-old will also be an interesting option to consider in relation to Liverpool’s supposed needs in the transfer market. Many fans are convinced that a new attacking midfielder is needed but between Chamberlain and Keita, Klopp might have an in-house solution to his creativity problems.

Keita has been hit and miss this season as he’s struggled with injuries and learning English but Chambo could be the all-action midfielder that has been missing this season.

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