Liverpool FC signing given Jurgen Klopp a nice headache, claims ex-defender
Liverpool FC legend Gary Gillespie believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is pushing for a first-team place
Gary Gillespie believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is starting to push for a starting spot in the Liverpool team.
The Reds signed the England international in a £40m deal from their top-four rivals Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
Liverpool completed a deal to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain on transfer deadline day despite the versatile midfielder having a medical at defending Premier League champions Chelsea.
However, the 24-year-old opted against signing a new deal with Arsenal or completing a move to Chelsea in favour of a switch to Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had to wait until until 1 November to make his first Liverpool start in a 3-0 victory over Slovenian side Maribor in the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp rewarded a strong showing by giving Oxlade-Chamberlain a chance to shine in his Liverpool XI for a 4-1 victory over West Ham United.
Former Liverpool defender Gillespie admits it took him two seasons to tie down a starting spot but suggested Oxlade-Chamberlain is already on the cusp of a regular spot.
“I think he has done well. He’s had to be patient and bide his time,” Gillespie told Liverpool’s website.
“I think games before the last two when he was coming on from the bench he was making an impact and that is what the manager wants from his substitutes.
“He’s big, he’s strong and his got pace. He’s good at going past people and puts balls into the box so he thoroughly deserves his place.
“Sometimes it hard to come to another football club. He’s been at Arsenal for quite a few years and has learnt the Arsenal way and sometimes it takes time to develop yourself and get used to you surroundings.
“It was two years until I established myself in the first team. I don’t think it will take Oxlade-Chamberlain that long but I can see him getting far more starts now than at the beginning of the season.
“I think his performances from the last few games certainly warrants a place in the starting XI, but it is certainly a nice headache for the manager to have.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in Liverpool’s 7-0 win at Maribor in the Champions League in October before he netted Liverpool’s second goal in a 4-1 win at West Ham.
Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League table last term.