Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders has claimed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will play a big role in the Reds’ current campaign, despite struggles to make it into the first team after suffering with long-term injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain famously missed a whole year with a ruptured knee ligament during Liverpool's 2017/18 Champions League semi-final with Roma.
However, the former Arsenal midfielder has finally recovered and made a great impression after starting for the Reds in their Champions League fixture against Genk last week, scoring twice in the 4-1 win.
"Ox of course is a very sad story, with the injury I mean,” Lijnders explained (as quoted by the Mirror). “But everyone knows he was very important for us just before the injury - he is really important for us because he gives a completely different dynamic to create.
“So we want to give him time and we know it will come if he keeps his aggression offensively and defensively. We saw already glimpses, we saw already really good phases and he said it himself already he wants to do it now [consistently] - that will be the next step.”
Lijnders also spoke highly of Naby Keita, who has also struggled at times to make a first-team impact due to injury issues.
“We can all see what a magnificent player he is and what he can do to our team, especially how to bring the ball into the final third, how to disorganise opposition," he said.
Both players are set to start on Wednesday evening in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield.