‘You feel for him’: Sky pundits express sorrow for Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury problems
Sky Sports pundits Micah Richards and Jamie Redknapp have expressed their sorrow for the injuries that Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has endured in his career.
The pair were speaking after the England international scored his first goal of the season to help Jurgen Klopp’s side claim a 3-1 win at Burnley, having found the back of the net within minutes of coming on.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has mostly been restricted to a back-up role at Anfield this term, with Wednesday night’s outing just his 16th of the term across all competitions and 12th in the Premier League.
The former Arsenal maestro has also only opened two top-flight games all term and only been called on to play 29 minutes across Liverpool’s last 10 league fixtures, while his campaign begun in the treatment room after a knee injury sustained in training.
He missed 20 matches in all competitions as a result of the issue, adding to time spent on the sidelines in every season since the 2012/13 campaign. Both Redknapp and Richards feel sorry for the number of issues he has faced, with the latter telling Sky Sports (19/05, 22:23):
“I feel sorry for Oxlade[-Chamberlain] because he’s picked up too many injuries within his career and he works so hard to get back. It will just be a nice moment for him, to know that this could be the goal that potentially gets them into the Champions League.
“I know he’s won stuff there, but he will feel like he wants to play more of a part in this team and he’s definitely contributed to the game.”
Redknapp, who himself endured an injury-ravished career and underwent more than a dozen surgeries before retiring at the age of 31, matched Richards’ sentiment, adding:
“I’d agree with you Micah. He’s only 27, I thought he was a bit older. He’s had bad injuries; you feel for him. I know what it’s like, we’ve been through it. You’ve had your knee injury, you need a bit of a run of games, a run of form, but that will do him the world of good.”
Unfortunately for Oxlade-Chamberlain, he will not be able to get a run of games under his belt to build on his goal against Burnley, as Liverpool have just one more match remaining this season at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
But scoring at Turf Moor will help raise the £120,000-per-week (Spotrac) dynamo’s confidence and offer a platform for him to build on over the summer, to hopefully come out of the gates strongly next term to make an impact.
It would have naturally been demoralising for Oxlade-Chamberlain to be restricted in his game time this season due to another lengthy injury that would keep him out of action until December, having trailed only the Reds’ influential front three for goals last term with eight.
Klopp will hope to see that version of Oxlade-Chamberlain return next season if he can stay fit over the summer, and hopefully put his injury problems to rest.
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