Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain assisted Sadio Mane with an excellent cross reminiscent of the best midfielder in the Premier League, Kevin De Bruyne.
Just as a disclaimer, I’m not suggesting that Oxlade-Chamberlain is anywhere near as good as De Bruyne but the role he plays for Manchester City is a simple one.
That said, it only looks so simple because KDB does the basics perfectly and that’s my biggest criticism of Ox – he’s very often guilty of getting the simple things wrong while trying something spectacular.
The former Arsenal star looked sharp in the Carabao Cup when Liverpool beat Preston North End 2-0 and his assist for Sadio Mane was simply outstanding.
He is a player blessed with significant pace and is more than capable of producing a magnificent pass or shot. But he has been very inconsistent in the cameos he has been afforded between injuries.
Much like Naby Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player cursed with untimely injuries. However now he’s fully fit and has very little competition for a starting role with injuries to Keita, Fabinho, Thiago and Harvey Elliott.
Jurgen Klopp has virtually no option but to start the Englishman and he might as well test him out in an advanced midfield role where his passing and shooting are more effective.
Worst case scenario, it turns out to be a failed experiment. However, it could prove to be an inspired move from Jurgen Klopp, in which case the German has another option to find goals.
The only issue is that Chamberlain would step on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s toes in a creative aspect, as that right channel is one that the Scouse full-back has made his own.
That said, you can never have too many routes to goal, and it would mean that Trent and Chamberlain could dovetail to keep opponents guessing as to where the next cross would come from.
Garth Crooks raves about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
“It was a superb ball,” said Crooks while speaking to Final Score.
“A wonderful ball. It was outstanding.
“It’s a chance for Alex to come in, who has had a difficult time since his injuries. Perhaps he might have a run of two or three games.
“They need him now because they have injury issues. If he can start playing balls like that then he can have a bright future at that football club.”