It’s fair to say Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t take too kindly to Gary Neville’s and Theirry Henry’s criticism following his £35 million move from Arsenal to Liverpool last summer.
But, wisely, the 24-year-old decided to hold off giving a response until he found form in a Liverpool shirt.
Since Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona in January, Oxlade-Chamberlain has seen more chances at Anfield and he has taken them with both hands.
Now typically operating in the middle of the pitch, he appears to be showing the potential he often flashed at the Emirates Stadium.
As the England international headed for the exits at Arsenal in the summer of 2017, Henry claimed to have “been watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at”.
Last week, the Ox branded those comments as “stupid” and Henry has, quite surprisingly, now admitted that the former Southampton man has proved him wrong.
He told Sky Sports via Goal: “Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves praise for what he’s done during his short time at Liverpool so far. But we didn’t see that clearly at Arsenal.
“My point is if I use the example of Frank Lampard, everybody knew what he was good at. His forte was running from deep – making late runs into the box and scoring goals. And also giving plenty of assists.
“At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position is. One day he was a wing back, one day he was a left-winger, one day a right winger and on another a No.10. That was the problem, we just didn’t know.
“It’s so difficult to find out who you are and what you are good at if you don’t have a run of games in a settled position. It’s really difficult to get your momentum going and the stats back that up. In 132 games for Arsenal in the Premier League he only scored nine goals and got 14 assists but for Liverpool, he already has three goals and five assists.
“He is a different player from the one we saw at the Gunners and the Arsenal fans would have loved to have seen this Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates Stadium.”
To be fair, plenty of people could see where Henry was coming from at the time, but Jurgen Klopp saw Oxlade-Chamberlain’s potential and probably knew that Coutinho would depart the club sooner rather than later.
If anything, it shows that Arsene Wenger wasted his abilities in north London and the player was right to want to work under Klopp.