Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made himself key backup in two positions with his performance against Southampton.

The 26-year-old, who arrived at Liverpool for £35m, has had a strange season. He began things on the fringes, not able to break into the starting XI.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the opener against Southampton.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

But injuries opened the door. Oxlade-Chamberlain has played a lot over December and January but did so without nailing a spot down. He had plenty of chances to do so but always in the middle of midfield.

That, undoubtedly, looked like the place for him. He could play the driving, pacy role in the midfield three, complimenting Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.

But it took until the midweek game at West Ham United for him to finally prove he could do it. Up until then, he was a mix between okay and quite poor.

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But we came away from that game with Oxlade-Chamberlain in possession of that midfield role. Then things changed again against Southampton.

Jurgen Klopp moved things about a bit. Fabinho came into the holding role and Henderson moved to the position Oxlade-Chamberlain had been playing.

That meant Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to the left-wing. It’s not a position he’s every played particularly well for Liverpool but he really shone against his old side.

He ran at defenders, moved well with the ball and, of course, opened the scoring with a brilliant finish. It means that, if Fabinho/Henderson/Wijnaldum is the first-choice midfield, Oxlade-Chamberlain is the backup in two positions.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scores his goal against West Ham.

Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

And that’s a great place to be. There are a lot of games coming up over the next few months, potentially big games, and Klopp will move players around.

Oxlade-Chamberlain can be a key tool in positions Liverpool lack consistent, reliable backup. And that’s a great thing for everyone involved.

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