The 2021/22 Premier League season will be make or break for Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool are in the market for a midfielder to replace Gini Wijnaldum but many are forgetting that Jurgen Klopp still has Keita and Chamberlain at his disposal.
It’s not surprising though as both players have had serious struggles with injuries and this has been detrimental for their ability to make an impact.
Keita, in particular, has been marginalised due to his inability to remain fit while Chamberlain has been unlucky with a series of serious injuries.
The Guinean has the potential to be one of the best in the Premier League but he will need to remain fit as well as deliver consistently when he’s available.
If he can avoid injuries this season (a major ask) it is likely he can reach the heights he did with RB Leipzig as he has never struggled to perform when fit.
His silky dribbling and ability to counter-press make him perfectly suited for Klopp’s midfield and if he can stay fit for at least 80% of the season, he will feel like a new signing.
Chamberlain will feel cursed as he has been regularly struck down by long-term injuries but like Keita, he has the ability to be a key player for Liverpool.
His performances for the Reds on their way to the 2017/18 Champions League final feel like a distant memory now but there’s no doubting he still has that ability.
If he can avoid injury, he could be the perfect option off the bench in games where explosiveness and direct attacking are required.
If Keita and Chamberlain can prove their fitness to Klopp this summer, with Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago expected at pre-season late, they could start the new season in the starting XI when Norwich host the Reds on the opening day of the season.