Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain loved an injury-free run for Liverpool all through 2021/22 however that was not mirrored in his look tally, in what is predicted to be his remaining marketing campaign.
Liverpool’s No. 15 has endured a torrid run with accidents in years passed by, maintaining him out of Jurgen Klopp‘s attain and seeing the staff evolve round him.
At 28, Oxlade-Chamberlain has lots left to present and though he was available for the Reds all through the season, sport time proved exhausting to come back by in both midfield or assault.
You may solely think about the frustration at being match and obtainable however having world-class choices forward within the pecking order in what was a exceptional season throughout all 4 competitions for the Reds.
And it’s more likely to signify his remaining marketing campaign with the membership after 5 years at Anfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 2021/22
Began: 17 (All competitions)
On as an alternative: 12
Unused sub: 20
Total Season Score: 6
After sustaining a knee harm in the summertime of 2020 that disrupted the beginning of that season and in the end led to a disjointed marketing campaign, Oxlade-Chamberlain had no such problem previous to 2021/22.
The Englishman featured in 5 of the pre-season friendlies, the join-most of any participant, to inject optimism for what he may supply Klopp and co. all year long.
However Oxlade-Chamberlain spent the primary half of the summer time studying the ropes as a striker, deployed within the No. 9 position and considered an choice to cowl Roberto Firmino.
“You would see within the first couple of minutes, that’s an choice, undoubtedly,” Klopp stated of Ox within the place in the course of the pre-season. “We’ll see how that goes on.”
It didn’t final too lengthy because the summer time closed with the 28-year-old shifting again into his favoured midfield place, exhibiting off his health and providing loads of promise.
It didn’t materialise with appearances from the off within the Premier League, with one begin (Norwich) and one substitute outing (Leeds) within the first seven video games.
However from October to mid-January, Oxlade-Chamberlain featured 21 occasions in all competitions for a complete of 1,128 minutes – that accounted for 73.9 p.c of his season complete (1,526).
His time was largely spent in midfield however sprinkled with ventures onto the right-wing and centre-forward, resulting in targets in back-to-back league video games in opposition to Brentford and Crystal Palace.
It was his efficiency in opposition to Leicester within the League Cup quarter-final although that was his standout efficiency, taking cost as considered one of a handful of senior gamers in an in any other case mishmash facet.
Ox took duty and drove his staff ahead, exhibiting the intent to get again into the competition after Jamie Vardy scored two early quickfire targets.
His strike was his first purpose of the season and solely the second of 2021, and it was a well timed one which helped Liverpool get again on monitor and in the end take the match to penalties.
He completed his with aplomb in sudden dying and it despatched the Reds on the right track to raise the trophy come February, which Oxlade-Chamberlain would watch from the substitutes bench.
AFCON affect fades
The 28-year-old discovered himself as a key choice for Klopp in the course of the Africa Cup of Nations, which noticed Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita all go away for as much as six weeks.
Liverpool weren’t with a relentless fixture schedule at that stage, however Oxlade-Chamberlain chipped in with two essential targets and confirmed he nonetheless had a contribution to make.
However regardless of his efforts and affect, after beginning in opposition to Norwich within the league in mid-February, he would make simply two extra appearances – within the FA Cup in opposition to the Canaries and Nottingham Forest.
The latter noticed him substituted after 64 minutes and his disgruntled manner leaving the pitch spoke volumes in what seems to be to be his remaining Liverpool look.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wouldn’t be seen within the Champions League after the group phases, named solely on the bench.
He additionally was omitted from the Premier League matchday squad in eight of the final 13 video games, and was not within the staff for the FA Cup semi-final or remaining.
It was a major drop out of competition after his brightest patch of the season, laid naked when a rotated facet took to St Mary’s after the FA Cup triumph and he failed to come back off the bench.
Klopp would later say “I hate myself for not bringing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on” in opposition to Southampton, choosing James Milner, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson as an alternative.
It ensured there can be no swansong along with his Liverpool profession now anticipated to come back to an in depth this summer time.
A brand new journey
With a full 90 minutes coming his manner solely 5 occasions and all however dropping out of Klopp’s thoughts on the enterprise finish of the season, a brand new begin seems to be greatest for each events.
Oxlade-Chamberlain solely had one 12 months remaining on his present contract and Liverpool are to not stand in his manner of a brand new begin after 5 years on the membership.
West Ham is reportedly an suitor and you’re feeling that might be a very good match for the Englishman, who wants a run of video games to construct up momentum and discover constant kind.
He’s put his harm woes behind him however whereas he was absent Liverpool moved past what he may supply the staff, and he simply was not in a position to drive himself again into the XI.
A well-liked and much-loved determine however he’s deserving of a recent begin and an opportunity to grow to be an integral member of a staff.
Finest second: Serving to drag Liverpool again into the League Cup contest in opposition to Leicester with a purpose and a transformed penalty, helped make the cup triumph doable.
Worst second: The night time at Nottingham Forest, his response to being substituted simply after the hour spoke volumes.
Function subsequent season: Discovering his place at a brand new membership, hopefully reinvigorating his profession.