'Come into his own' - Lampard blown away by Liverpool 24-yr-old handed new role this season
By Richard Parks
Frank Lampard has raved about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he hailed how he has “come into his own” since being handed a new central role at Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain moved from Arsenal to Anfield last summer for a fee of around £40million after growing frustrated at how his career had stagnated.
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.
Match of the Day pundit and Chelsea legend Lampard drooled over the performance of the ex-Gunner and explained how he is taking to his now role with elan.
“He played very well,” Lampard told the Match of the Day programme. “He came to Liverpool with aspirations to play in central midfield and there were question marks against that because he has always been seen as a very attacking right-winger at Arsenal.
“Today he showed both sides of the game you need to play in central midfield for a team like Liverpool. In the first half he was disciplined, a lot of hard work in his own half.
“In the second half he has come into his own. We know his standard on the ball, we know he can dribble, he has speed and capacity on the ball. The problem has always been consistency. He has to play like that week in, week out to be a complete player.”
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. Oxlade-Chamberlain 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.
In other Liverpool news, Sky have claimed that the Merseyside giants have already made phone calls about signing BRILLIANT Tottenham player this summer.
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