'Not a top man' - Souness gives honest assessment of Liverpool summer signing
By Danny Wright
Graeme Souness believes that Liverpool paid over the odds to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal during the summer transfer window.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, was in the final year of his contract at the Emirates before he moved to Anfield in a deal worth £35million, despite him potentially being available for free at the end of the season.
The England international was widely reported to have turned down a move to Chelsea prior to signing for Liverpool as he didn’t want to be used as a right wing-back by Antonio Conte while Jurgen Klopp was offering him a more central midfield role.
Former Reds midfielder Souness, 64, has admitted that he isn’t thrilled about how much his old club spent on Oxlade-Chamberlain, but has suggested that is simply how the market is now.
“Today, £30-40m is buying you a good player, but not a top man. The initial £35m that Liverpool have paid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a very high figure for a player coming to the end of his contract at Arsenal,” said Souness, in his honest assessment of midfielder on the on the Times website.
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“Oxlade-Chamberlain chose Liverpool rather than Chelsea because he did not want to be a wing-back. He sees himself dropping the shoulder and going past people in the central midfield area. I don’t see him as a wing-back either. He is the wrong shape for it.”
The ex-Southampton man was the fourth player that Klopp has signed this summer after Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson and Dominic Solanke while Naby Keita will completed his switch to Anfield next year.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was clearly in Arsene Wenger’s plans at the Emirates this season having started all three of their Premier League fixtures last month while making 45 appearances across all competitions last term, scoring six goals in the process.
In other Liverpool news, Ryan Giggs has changed his mind about the Reds’ title chances.