Liverpool fans are beginning to see the best of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Anfield.
The midfielder joined in the summer after growing disillusioned with life at Arsenal and Jurgen Klopp has instilled a renewed sense of ambition within him.
Oxlade-Chamberlain created the opener in Liverpool’s 2-0 over Newcastle on Saturday, playing in Mohamed Salah after a surging run through the middle.
In a game in which Sadio Mane also scored and Roberto Firmino impressed once again, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who came away with the Man of the Match award.
“The ex-Arsenal man looks revitalised and again impressed in a dual role at the heart of midfield and out towards the right,” wrote the Mirror in their post-match report, giving the Ox an eight out of 10 rating.
Klopp has trusted Oxlade-Chamberlain to play in that central position that he craved during his time in north London and he’s reaping the benefits; the 24-year-old now has two goals and five assists in his last 10 starts.
Of course, Oxlade-Chamberlain has areas that can be improved upon – Klopp said in his post-match interview that he wants the England international to “feel a greed for scoring” – but he’s shown signs of encouragement in his debut season on Merseyside.
STEVEN GERRARD MAKES A GOOD POINT ABOUT THE OX
Steven Gerrard reflected on the midfielder’s season on BT Sport on Saturday, and he raised an interesting point about how life at Liverpool compares to life at Arsenal.
Gerrard believes that, with all the uncertainty that has surrounded the Gunners lately, playing in a settled, united Liverpool side has helped Oxlade-Chamberlain settle in.
“It took him a little bit of time to adapt, like it did with Van Dijk,” Gerrard said. “I think Jurgen Klopp’s way is full throttle, high energy, playing 100 per cent on the break.
“He’s come from a possession team, so it was always going to take him weeks if not a couple of months to adapt to Jurgen’s way.
“But good players adapt and they adapt quick, and to be fair to Alex he’s worked hard, he was patient, he didn’t complain and he knew himself it was about him adapting to Liverpool rather than the other way around, and he’s done it really well.
“He looks like he’s playing with confidence, he looks like he’s happy, and he’s probably not doing that much different than he did at Arsenal.
“But everyone’s pointing fingers at Arsenal, confidence is low. This Liverpool team, it must be fantastic to play in at the moment because everyone’s happy, everyone’s in form and they’re blowing teams away.”
He’s got a point. Just look at Alexandre Lacazette and how much he has struggled for Arsenal this season.
It can’t have helped with all the discontent surrounding the Gunners at the moment.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other hand, has joined a Liverpool team that’s certainly on the up.