Liverpool hand massive boost as long-term injured star is included in 25-men UCL squad

Liverpool have added Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to their 25-man Champions League squad with the midfielder closing in on a return from an ACL injury.

The 25-year-old has been injured since last April and had been expected to miss the entire 2018-19 season, however, he appears to be ahead of schedule and could return sooner than expected.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been pencilled in for a return to first-team training by the end of February and that news has prompted Jurgen Klopp to include him in his Champions League squad.

Clubs are required to submit a 25-man squad for the Champions League in August and again for the knockout stages in January and Oxlade-Chamberlain was omitted earlier this season due to the injury he suffered against Roma in last season’s semi-final.

However, following the departures of Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth, Klopp has seen fit to draft the England international back into his squad, even though it is highly unlikely he will feature against the club’s last-16 opponents Bayern Munich.

Oxlade-Chamberlain endured a slow start to life at Anfield following a £40m move from Arsenal in August 2017 but he steadily grew in influence as Liverpool reached the Champions League final, scoring twice in seven appearances.

Although he will likely be eased back in following such a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Klopp will be delighted to have him back considering his squad has been decimated by injury in recent weeks.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have both had lengthy spells out recently, while Klopp was also without Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum for Monday night’s 1-1 draw against West Ham at the London Stadium.

Liverpool have also added the 17-year-old Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever to their squad after the youngster made his professional debut during the FA Cup third round tie against Wolves last month.