Would Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be the perfect signing for Liverpool?
Reports emerging in the Telegraph claim that Liverpool may launch an ambitious bid to bring Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Anfield in January, with the Gunners reportedly prepared to do business at the £20 million to £25 million price range with his contract entering the final 18 months of his existing deal.
At that price, the former Southampton man seems a bargain given his potential. With six goals and six assists in just 23 games so far this season, working out on average as more or less a goal or assist for every 90 minutes he has played, it is clear that with more than his current tally of 12 starts he could have a real impact.
The right wingers pace and drive when bursting forwards is exactly the kind of player that Liverpool are looking for, and unlike options such as Quincy Promes at Spartak Moscow or Christian Pulisic at Borussia Dortmund, Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown his abilities in the Premier League and would not need time to adapt if thrown in at the deep end with Sadio Mane heading to the African Cup of Nations.
Even after that, Oxlade-Chamberlain can have a devastating impact from the start of a game or as a sub, as he showed when he came close to sparking an Arsenal revival when the Gunners came from 4-1 down to cut the lead to just one goal after his introduction on the opening day of the season at the Emirates. That kind of depth is exactly what Jurgen Klopp has been missing of late, with Ben Woodburn and Ovie Ejaria his only real attacking options from the bench until Daniel Sturridge returned to fitness, arguably costing the Reds points as they failed to break down West Ham and failed to make their lead count against Bournemouth.
However, the fact that he has failed to step up to the next level at Arsenal and has remained little more than an impact player for Arsene Wenger would be a concern. For Jurgen Klopp, he may see it as a challenge to get the very best out of what is undoubtedly a talented player who has gone off the boil of late, and he has a proven track record of doing just that with similar players.
It’s not that alone which would attract Oxlade-Chamberlain to Anfield. With speculation continuing to circle the future of Philippe Coutinho, there is the very real possibility that Oxlade-Chamberlain could be first choice sooner rather than later, and he would be given an immediate opportunity with Sadio Mane away on international duty. That could well prove pivotal if the 23-year-old is to regain his own spot in the England team after he was dropped by Sam Allardyce and not recalled by Gareth Southgate.
With his career seemingly stagnating on the bench at the Emirates, now could be the right time for Oxlade-Chamberlain to move on. Whilst a move to Liverpool may not see him become the star man where he would a team built around him, he could play in a team which would be playing to his strengths with pace and power driving forwards. The project that Klopp is leading at Liverpool is an exciting one, and it would be foolish for Oxlade-Chamberlain to turn it down if the opportunity arises.
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