Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has insisted that his injury record isn’t as bad as everyone says.
The 29-year-old has played just 143 times over five-and-a-half years at Anfield. Ask a lot of fans, and they’ll tell you that’s because Ox spends far too much times on the side lines. But speaking to BBC Sport, he claims that this is a misconception.
“To be honest, I only had the hamstring [injury] in pre-season. With me, when the game-time is down, sometimes people correlate that with an injury,” he said.
“Over the two-year period, I’ve actually only had that hamstring [injury] but I wasn’t playing as much. Being fit, available, wanting to play and not playing as much as you like, that’s obviously more tough as a footballer.
Ox shows his frustration at Liverpool
You have to feel for Oxlade-Chamberlain. At times you can really feel his frustration at not being a bigger part of this Liverpool team.
Unfortunately for him though, it would perhaps reflect better if he had actually missed bigger chunks through injury.
Instead, it’s clear that Jurgen Klopp simply doesn’t trust him as much as some of his teammates.
That was clear from what we saw towards the end of last season. Despite having played a decent part in the campaign up to that point, Ox didn’t get on the pitch at all past March.
There was a period right at the back end of the season that the No.15 couldn’t even make the bench.
That does beg the question why Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a Liverpool player. He is clearly disappointed at certain elements of his time at the club. So, why didn’t he push to leave last summer?
Had he done so, it’s hard to see why Liverpool would have stood in his way. Now they face losing a £35m signing on a free transfer at the end of the season.
It’s true that the England international has forced his way back into the side for the moment. He’s started the last four Premier League games. But with other options merely injured, Ox is certain to drop back out of the side once they return. He may not have been injured all that much, but he hasn’t justified being picked enough either.