Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can be Liverpool’s ultimate threat from the bench against Manchester City today. The England international needs a game like this.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool back in 2017 for £35m but his best moment is still one from his debut season. Things have been stop-start since then.
Injuries are the reason, of course. Oxlade-Chamberlain just can’t avoid them, which is a huge shame. Whenever he’s got momentum going, he’s a fantastic player.
Nothing showed that better than his first season. Oxlade-Chamberlain avoided injury until the April and when he really got going, he was a star.
The pinnacle came against Manchester City, today’s opponents. He was electric at Anfield in the Champions League against them.
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His energy from midfield burst Liverpool forward whenever he got near the ball. He was leading the counter-attacks and City couldn’t cope.
He capped off his performance with a wonderful goal, too, driving the ball into the net from 25 yards.
Unfortunately, Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a serious knee injury in the next round and missed most of his next season. Injuries then limited him last year and again this campaign.
He’s back now, though, and has been for around a month and a half. The 27-year-old must be nearing his best again.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will almost certainly start on the bench against City and that might be exactly what Liverpool need. If he’s anywhere near full fitness, he’s the counter-attacking energy they’ll want as a second-half option.
And he suits playing against City. They are one of the few teams in the world that try and push Liverpool back, leaving space for the Reds’ player to drive into.
That’s exactly Oxlade-Chamberlain’s game.
Regardless of what the result is, Oxlade-Chamberlain will help. If Liverpool need a goal, then he’s someone who can keep the pressure on City.
If the Reds have the lead, he’s the option on the break that will worry Pep Guardiola’s side as they look for goals.
Throwing him on against tired legs is a wonderful option against opponents who suit his all-out-attack style. Hopefully, this game is one where he finally recaptures his magic.