By Richard Parks
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has raved about “frightening” Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and claimed that Liverpool can be the perfect stage to realise his immense potential.
In his weekly column for the BBC Sport website, the former Tottenham striker named the England international in his team of the week alongside teammates Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah.
The England international, 24, made a slow start at Liverpool but he has started to blossom in recent times, particularly after the sale of Philippe Coutinho in January paved the way for him to play more regularly in his favourite central midfield role.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was used in a midfield three with Emre Can and James Milner as Liverpool demolished West Ham 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Crooks drooled over the performance of the ex-Gunner and explained how he is taking to his now role with elan.
“It’s starting to happen,” Crooks said. “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is beginning to look like a player again. There is no fear of the big stage in this lad. I think the only thing that is frightening about this player is just how good he could be at Anfield.”
Football Insider verdict:
Oxlade-Chamberlain has benefitted more than anyone else in the Liverpool team by the departure of Coutinho. With Klopp fixed on the 4-3-3 formation that has served the team brilliantly in recent months, the Ox has been handed plenty of game time in the central role that he craves. It makes full use of his abilities, which are more wide-ranging than simply zipping up the flank to deliver crosses a la Theo Walcott. The Ox can also dictate the play from deep and track runners to stop opponents hurting the Liverpool backline. He is growing in significance to Klopp by the week, and starting to look the player many had hoped him he would become during his near-but-not-quite years at Arsenal. With a more modernistic manager who develops players like Arsene Wenger once did, the Ox is at the perfect club to achieve his potential.