A deal for Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was reached on Wednesday evening, with the new signing unveiled on the morning of Deadline Day. The winger moved to Liverpool for a fee of £35m plus add-ons.
The signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain is one that I’d been excited about all summer. The Arsenal man was entering the last year of his contract, having rejected a contract extension, and had been linked with moves to both Liverpool and Chelsea. A fee had been agreed between Chelsea and Arsenal, but the player turned down the reigning Champions in preference of a move to Liverpool.
In this article, I’m taking a look at why Liverpool and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are a perfect fit.
The tweet below shows one of the main reasons why I wanted Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool, and why I think he’ll fit in well.
The exact moment Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain decided to leave Arsenal pic.twitter.com/DdzMnXUadi
— Football Fights (@footbalIfights) August 30, 2017
The gif captures a moment in Arsenal’s 5-1 humiliation against Bayern Munich last season. It shows Oxlade-Chamberlain pressing the Bayern Munich players, before becoming frustrated with his teammates for not doing likewise.
This is an aspect of his game that Jürgen Klopp will surely be impressed with, and is likely just one of the reasons that the manager was intent on luring Oxlade-Chamberlain to Anfield.
Another reason that Oxlade-Chamberlain suits this Liverpool side is his versatility. At Arsenal, he was played in a variety of positions, including as a winger, as a wing back and as a central midfielder. The latter position is the where he sees himself making his name.
Whilst one of his main reasons for moving to Liverpool was to play in midfield, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him moved about. With Salah and Mané the only wingers in the side, Oxlade-Chamberlain could be pushed into the front three for rotation.
One of the criticisms of this signing was that Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t improve the starting eleven. While that may be true, he improves the squad.
Playing central midfield means he can be used as cover for the likes of Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana or Philippe Coutinho. He could also be used further up the pitch, allowing Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah to be rotated.
With the addition of Champions League football to an already packed fixture list, this is a massive positive. Too many times last season Liverpool were lining up with youth players on the bench, and whilst this is good, it’s better to be able to call upon Oxlade-Chamberlain rather than the likes of Ben Woodburn to change the game.
The signing makes loads of sense. Like, all of the sense. It’s a great signing for all the reasons I’ve listed above, but beyond that, it weakens a direct rival whilst strengthening us.
I think that for Liverpool to consolidate their place in the top four this season they need to keep Arsenal out, and having already dispatched them 4-0, taking one of their top players makes a statement.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s left a sinking ship to join a side on the rise.
Up the Reds.
She’s a great signing too.
And she’s even donned last year’s Toxic Thunder.