Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes his fitness levels are better than they have been for some time. The Liverpool player has had a tough few years.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Liverpool back in 2017 for £35m and took a while to get going. In fact, Jurgen Klopp wasn’t consistently playing him to start with.
But post-Christmas that year, Oxlade-Chamberlain really took off. He became a key part of the Liverpool team, with the pinnacle being his starring role in a 3-0 Champions League win over Manchester City.
He was electric that day, bursting forward from midfield to cause havoc on the counter. The Englan international looked like a £35m bargain.
An injury against AS Roma in the next round was devastating, however. Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the next year of his career and has never really found his place since.
That’s not to say that he hasn’t played well or contributed – he scored eight times across 19/20 – but there hasn’t been that same ‘fit’. Oxlade-Chamberlain has very much been a squad player, rather than an integral first-team part.
But then, that’s to be expected. He picked up another injury last season that ruled him out until December. There just hasn’t been any rhythm or consistency.
That may be about the change, however.
Oxlade-Chamberlain on his current fitness
“I feel like I’m at a place where I’m feeling sharper, quicker, fitter, stronger,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I feel like it’s just a chance for me to kick on and put down a really good season of consistent performances and hopefully some good numbers as well in terms of goals, assists. But I guess that’s all to come.
“It doesn’t feel like a new start because it’s all been part of the journey, the story.
“But I feel like this season’s important for me to go and do something really good – hopefully on an individual level and then obviously for the team.”
With Xherdan Shaqiri and Gini Wijnaldum’s exits and the inclusion of youngsters in the squad, Oxlade-Chamberlain will undoubtedly get chances. It’s wonderful to hear that he’s nearing his best fitness levels again, then.
If he’s right, the 28-year-old can undoubtedly play a key role in the Liverpool team. Maybe that’s in midfield, perhaps it’s from the wing – either way, Oxlade-Chamberlain has a proven skillset that meshes well with the Reds.
So fingers crossed he’s right. Oxlade-Chamberlain could yet still find that shining form he showed back in 2018.