An injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shows the need for patience with Jurgen Klopp’s plan this season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is undergoing his first pre-season since joining Liverpool two years ago. He arrived after the start of the season in 2017, of course, while injury kept him out of 95% of last season’s campaign.

But now he’s back – although there’s been a setback.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

“He has been a bit unlucky with a calf problem,” said Klopp told the Telegraph.

“It is not a tear but something he has from time to time when the intensity gets too high for him. He had to get through the first 20 minutes [against Sporting Lisbon] when he was really involved and then he felt it.

“Then he was not part of the game anymore, which is not too cool for the others if there is someone on and off. Apart from that he has made all the sessions, which is unbelievably important. That is very positive.”

The bigger picture

Klopp wants to view the bigger picture here. Oxlade-Chamberlain has completed every session up to now but there needs to be patience.
Jurgen Klopp and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

He’s still coming back from a serious injury and this is as intense as things have been for him in over a year. Oxlade-Chamberlain simply won’t be fully fit for a little while yet.
 
But it also asks for patience with the overall plan. Oxlade-Chamberlain is effectively a ‘new player’, after all. Klopp has repeatedly labelled him as such ahead of the new season and he may be right.

We won’t know if he is right until Oxlade-Chamberlain is back to his best – if that happens at all.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Klopp knows this, of course, and his decision not to sign anyone will be judged on that. Oxlade-Chamberlain may not make his impact for a good few months as he gets up to speed again – but Klopp is backing that to be a vital contribution when it does come.
And until we see that contribution, we’ve surely got to just trust the manager?
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