When Liverpool signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain other clubs laughed. The 24-year old was struggling at Arsenal and his career wasn’t going anywhere despite the promise he displayed at this start of his sparkling career. With his ambitions of wanting to be a central midfielder very clear. Manager, Arsene Wenger ignored his player’s wishes and Ox started to play more games at right wing back.
I think Chamberlain himself would admit even in his first few games for Liverpool he wasn’t living up to that £35million price tag. The form wasn’t great and he wasn’t getting into games like he needed to, even to stand a chance of getting into the England World Cup squad.
Compared to now. Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, asks his panel, Danny Murphy and Ian Wright, can Henderson and Chamberlain be a central midfield partnership for England in Russia? That shows the leaps and bounds the midfielder has come since he has arrived at Anfield.
In the 2-0 win against a resilient Newcastle side, Chamberlain stood out. He was the player driving between the defensive Newcastle lines and creating chances for the rampant front three. In mid-week Chamberlain mentioned how fantastic it was to play behind Mane, Salah and Firmino. I bet they don’t mind playing in front of him either. He created the opener giving Salah the space in the box, and was a constant menace throughout.
Although he isn’t playing right in the centre of the park and more on the right-hand side of the midfield three, the England international seems to be enjoying his football a lot more at Liverpool and under Jurgen Klopp.
Chamberlain realised he had to be much more disciplined and assured if he was to play in the central of midfield and he has definitely bought that into his game recently. Not so much this week against a poor attacking Newcastle team because he didn’t really have to, but certainly against West Ham in the 4-1-win last week.
His dribbling, pace and power make him a threat when he has the ball at his feet allowing him to drive at defences and this is what makes him the man of the match versus Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle.