Paul Merson is predicting Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain to play a major role in Liverpool’s pursuit of the Premier League title this season.
After missing nearly all of the 2018/19 campaign through injury, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has been cautious with the 26-year-old this term.
The English midfielder has scored four goals in 14 games across all competitions this season, with three of them coming in the Champions League group stages.
But he’s only started in two league games so far and is having to be patient to break into the side.
Liverpool have a settled midfield trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, as well as the likes of Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and James Milner pushing for spots.
Oxlade-Chamberlain does perhaps provide the best goal threat out of all the club’s midfielders and will hope for more chances moving forward.
Sky Sports pundit Merson insists that the midfielder can play a vital role still this season, as he adds an extra creative edge against lesser opponents.
“I think he (Oxalde-Chamberlain) plays a big part in this season because when they play against lesser teams, teams will come and just play 10 behind the ball,” Merson said on The Debate show on Sky Sports’ Main Event channel (10:18pm, 11 November).
“If you look at the midfield three they don’t have too much guile. I think (Oxalde-Chamberlain) he becomes a big part of this football team.”
Liverpool are flying at the top of the Premier League right now after a stunning start to the season, which has seen them pick up 34 points from their opening 12 games.
After beating Manchester City 3-1 at the weekend, they are nine points ahead of the reigning champions, while the duo of Leicester City and Chelsea are sandwiched in-between eight points off Klopp’s team.
The Reds can be comfortable with such a commanding eight-point lead at this stage going into the international break, but are about to embark on a hectic fixture schedule around Christmas that will test their depth.
Oxalde-Chamberlain is definitely one of the individuals just outside the best XI that perhaps has the best chance of breaking in on a regular basis.