Yesterday’s good news mood at Anfield was tainted slighty by the announcement from Klopp that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was unlikely to play any part in the forth coming campaign.
The popular attacking midfielder has been laid off since a cruel knee ligament injury suffered against Roma in the Champions League in April. The hope was he would be back by October following successful surgery.
However Klopp’s announcement on the club’s official website poured cold water on these hopes.
“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab,”
Without doubt this is a blow for the club. Oxlade-Chamberlain was sorely missed last season after his injury, with the club missing an extra gear from the second midfield three. Kiev may well have turned out a whole letter better had we have been able to play the former Arsenal man.
However, such is the extent of his injury, it would be foolish to rush him back too soon out of desperation and impatience.
Adam Lallana is a suitable warning for how not to rehabilitate a player after a length lay off. Rushed back due to a famine of options at the club, Lallana never looked right.
He suffered further niggles and cut a frustrated figure for most of last season. He managed a few games but contributed little, it all felt like a taxing effort for little return. We must not do this to The Ox.
The squad is now in a healthier place. With the window open and the Fekir saga last month, it is clear the club is still in the market for a creative player to bolster the ranks. This is despite the big money splashed on Alisson’s pending transfer.
If we can strengthen with one more quality player in the number ten position, we can almost certainly give ourselves the luxury of time with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery. This will be crucial for both player and club. The former Arsenal midfielder is too precious a talent to risk running into the ground.