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Liverpool duo push Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain closer to the exit door

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks like the closest to the exit door right now. A couple of teammates appear to have nudged him in that direction.

Jurgen Klopp played both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in defence on Sunday. That left him with some serious midfield decisions to make.

Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum were always going to play, of course. But who would partner them?

The boss opted for Xherdan Shaqiri – not traditionally a central midfielder. The Swiss played well, though, and we’d like to see him there again.

Decision no.2 was who to bring off the bench in the second half. This is inevitable after Shaqiri’s yellow card, let alone that Liverpool needed to make something happen.

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Klopp went for Curtis Jones. The teenager came on and had a limited impact, in truth, but he held his own in a huge game against a heated rival.

So one question coming out of all of this is where does it leave Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Klopp’s decisions here don’t bode well.

Pecking order

Oxlade-Chamberlain appears to be behind both Shaqiri and Jones in the pecking order. Neither is a good place to be right now.

It seems that Liverpool want to revamp their squad over the summer, after all. That requires two things: money and space.

Best way to get that? Selling players. And midfield is the most over-stocked area of the team. You don’t want to be low down that pecking order, then.

But what’s worse for Oxlade-Chamberlain is exactly who’s ahead of him.

In Shaqiri, you have a 29-year-old. He won’t command a fee like Oxlade-Chamberlain, who’s two years younger.

And there’s the opposite in Jones – a highly promising young player who Liverpool definitely won’t want to sell.

It feels as though Shaqiri and Jones’s performances are pushing Oxlade-Chamberlain closest to the exit door. It’s significant if Liverpool want to spend money this summer on players like Renato Sanches.

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We definitely haven’t seen Oxlade-Chamberlain fulfil his potential since arriving for £35m. And the way things are going, it looks like we never will.

In that sense, Liverpool’s poor form works in his favour. Klopp will want to try new things to get back on track and few are putting in undroppable performances.

So there is still time for Oxlade-Chamberlain – here’s hoping he takes any opportunity he gets.

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