After nearly a year out with injury, Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is finally coming into his own. The former Arsenal man has really started to show some of his pre-injury form with two goals in his last two games.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is Proving His Worth
What He Was
It was one of Liverpool’s best goals under manager Jurgen Klopp. In a crucial game against Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, Oxlade-Chamberlain stunned the world.
Barely 20 minutes had passed when the ball broke to the midfielder 25-yards away from goal. Oxlade-Chamberlain saw space open up ahead of him and he brilliantly drove the ball into the side netting. The strike was reminiscent of a Steven Gerrard goal.
Yet, fate was cruel. In the next round of the Champions League, Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a grievous injury. After a fairly innocuous challenge, the Englishman was rolling around in pain on the turf.
The club eventually confirmed the news. Oxlade-Chamberlain had ruptured ligaments in his knee. He would be out of action for a long time.
Jurgen Klopp’s Belief in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Some managers may have given up on Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Klopp never did.
“I cannot believe that this wonderful player, person, in such a positive situation, helping the team, having a clear, clear challenge, something like this happens,” the German told reporters. “I told him we will wait for him like a good wife when a man is in prison.”
Indeed, Klopp has patiently waited and he’s been rewarded. After initially struggling for form, Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned with a bang. He scored a brilliant goal in the group stages of the Champions League with a smart side-foot finish. The midfielder’s strike was one of the best that the Reds have scored all season.
He’s also impressed in his last two games, scoring against both West Ham United and Southampton. If his form continues, then Oxlade-Chamberlain may just find himself part of England’s Euro 2020 squad.
Sometimes, opportunity comes at the perfect time, and never has a phrase been more obvious than in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s case.
He has found his best form when Liverpool have needed him most. The Reds have been dealing with an injury crisis with James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane all missing. Some teams may have collapsed but the quality of Liverpool’s squad depth is epitomised by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
His transition to the starting line-up has been without a single hiccup. While Sadio Mane may be a key player for the Reds, he hasn’t been missed and that’s thanks to Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Klopp may rest assured that he can ease the Senegelease back into action. This is a luxury that few managers have.
Indeed, with the midfielder in the lineup, the Reds have extended their lead at the top of the table to 22 points. They now are pretty much guaranteed to win their first league title in 30 years.
The Comeback of Dreams
After struggling so long with injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return is set to feature a first Premier League title. It is a worthy award for someone who has worked so hard to return to Liverpool.