Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has become a forgotten man at Liverpool and must work harder to prove his worth to Jurgen Klopp.
That is according to ex-Premier League star Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 27-year-old failed to make the starting XI for the eighth successive game against Chelsea.
The 35-time England international came on as a second-half substitute for Mohammed Salah in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat.
But he has played just 215 minutes of football for a struggling Liverpool side in the league this season.
He was sidelined with a knee injury until early December but has started just two matches across all competitions since his recovery.
Whelan acknowledges that Klopp and Oxlade-Chamberlain have a good relationship but insisted that the player must up his work-rate if he wants a future at the club.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “He’s one of these players that you don’t remember that he’s actually there.
“Every now and then he’ll get a game or come off from the bench. But he’s a player of a good calibre and we do know that they have a very good relationship, Klopp and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“They’ve always come out and said that. They’ve always been very good together no matter whether he’s on the bench or on the pitch. I don’t think there’s any risk to that relationship at all.
“I just think that, at the minute, there are probably players above him in the pecking order. Maybe he needs to work harder and do more to convince Klopp that he’s a player that they need and can make a difference.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for Liverpool in a £35million deal in August 2017.
The midfielder has gone on to play 97 times for the club, scoring 13 goals and providing 11 assists.