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Oxlade-Chamberlain: I count my blessings to play for LFC

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest Liverpool player to commit his future to the Reds by signing a long term deal.

The decision to sign the midfielder from Arsenal in August 2017 raised some eyebrows at the time and he went through the usual acclimatising period when joining a new club.

The start of 2018 saw the England international truly come into his own and his drive from midfield pushed the Reds to the next level especially when they came up against elite opposition such as Manchester City.

Just when ‘Ox ’was becoming a indispensable part of the starting lineup, he was cruelly cut down by a very serious knee injury in the first leg of the semi final tie against Roma at Anfield.

So began a year of blood, sweat, and tears in the rehabilitation room as the 26 year-old played the role that no footballer wants to be be - a spectator.

The team evolved further in his absence, perhaps not as dynamic, but certainly more pragmatic as they found ways to win and displayed the resilience that Oxlade-Chamberlain was showing in his rehab.

The popular member of the squad took his first steps back to first team football at the tail end of last season, but it has been in the early part of this campaign where he has become a starting member once again.

 

There was little doubt last season that the Reds missed his dynamism and drive from midfield, and speaking after signing the contract, Oxlade-Chamberlain was clearly looking forward to moving on the next phase of his career.

 

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The Official site reported Oxlade-Chamberlain as saying:

“I’m really, really excited - it’s been in the pipeline for a little while, so it’s nice to finally get it done and just extend my time here, which I am really looking forward to.

“I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to sign. 

“It’s something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time – and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year”

“You’ve got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don’t get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day. 

“I am really excited to be able to extend my time here.”

You get a sense that the hard times that the midfielder has experienced has made him want to make the best of every opportunity, as well as respecting those who put their hard earned money into the club. 

“I can promise the supporters that I'll give them absolutely everything moving forward.

“As a footballer, I think the least you can do is respect the fans, the club and who you play for and give them everything you can. 

“When you get the support back that you do, you can't really have any complaints. 

It's [Liverpool] a hard place not to embrace. It's such a full-on culture, so much passion from everyone that is associated with the club – it's really endearing.

“There might be times where I have bad games and good games and moments where it's not so good, but I'll always work through those moments and give my everything to correct them and keep pushing this team for.

Meanwhile, the manager was just as delighted to see Oxlade-Chamberlain commit to the club.

“When I heard Ox had signed his new contract with us, I am sure my emotions were the same as every Liverpool fan hearing the news tonight – absolutely delighted.

“We all know Alex’s story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character.

“That’s why none of us were ever in any doubt about him fighting his way back in the way he did. 

“To see him play almost the whole game at Southampton on Saturday was such a positive moment for all of us, especially him.

And Jurgen has a request for the fans in relation to Alex.

“Maybe this is the season we hear the Kop sing an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain song.

 

" I can tell you it would mean a lot to me and the boys to hear that, let alone him!”

 


 


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Whether or not he can get back to the sort of form he was showing prior to his injury remains to be seen. Certainly he's better playing as one of the advanced midfield 3 rather than in the front 3. There's no doubt that his outgoing personality is a big influence in the dressing room, and Klopp likes having guys like that around.

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I don't think we missed him at all last season as we still haven't seen enough of him to make a genuine assessment of his ability within our system. Klopp obviously likes to have him as an option so I just hope he justifies Klopp's faith.

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If he doesn't fulfill his potential here under Kloppo then there's no more potential to fulfill. Could be a sledge hammer breaking down doors which is what our forwards need behind them some times to take the pressure off them.

 

My biggest worry is that he's just one of those guy's who for some reason or the other their body's can't cope with the physical stress of the game and he'll break down every 6 months.

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He'll be rusty for a while after his year out but he was excellent for us in the months before that injury so it's worth giving him as much playing time as possible to get him back to - hopefully - where he was. Seems a great fella too.

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It's kind of odd to do this with the injury he had but I think it's obvious he's a player that Klopp and the club were picturing being here for pretty much the entirety of his career. At his best, he fits Klopp's football to a tee. Hopefully we can see that again like we saw in spurts his first season here. 

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