Major hint dropped that £35m speed demon will be Roberto Firmino’s competition for 2021/22

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has dropped what can be considered a hint that he will compete with Roberto Firmino for the no.9 spot.

While Liverpool are still expected to make signings this signing, Jurgen Klopp is utterly world-class at extracting everything he can from his players.

This could see him transform Oxlade-Chamberlain into a false-nine and, according to the player himself, he’s scoring worldies much like Firmino.

Speaking to LFCTV on tour in Austria about his goal at Turf Moor against Burnley, he said: “I was going to say, I think that’s more of a Bobby Firmino-esque goal! Bobby, be careful!

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor on August 31, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom.
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 31: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor on August 31, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“Obviously it was nice at the end of the season to get that one. When it’s been a while it’s nice to just have that as a bit of a confidence booster and a reminder.

“But the way that role is played, it’s almost similar to a No.10, attacking-midfield role because you drop quite deep so in that sense I find it quite natural.

“I feel like I can run in behind from there as well and get in and around the box, and you get opportunities to shoot and score.

“So I don’t mind doing that role – but you know, I’ve still got my head more fixed on the midfield situation. But if I need to fill in and do that, then I’m confident that I can do that as well.”

UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA - JULY 17:(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpol during a training session on July 17, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA – JULY 17:(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpol during a training session on July 17, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly views himself in midfield and will be disappointed that injuries have prevented him from kicking on in that regard.

However, at this stage in his career, with very few games under his belt given his age, I don’t think he can be very fussy and he admitted that he is happy to do a job wherever he’s asked.

While injuries have harmed his career until this point, I’d actually say he’s also been a massive victim of his own versatility in a similar way to James Milner.

Both English midfielders have been asked to play on the wing, at fullback, in various midfield roles and now Chamberlain could be set for a stint upfront.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

I don’t doubt he would be a success in an attacking role even if Liverpool still need to add to their depth in that department.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown in the past with goals against Manchester City and Arsenal that he has great finishing technique.

While the former Arsenal star will be grateful for any minutes this season, his inability to tie down one role in his career means that he has missed out on valuable experience that could have seen him grow into a top midfielder.

He joined the Reds from Arsenal for a fee reported to be worth £35million but he is yet to live up to that price tag.

I wrote this week that he and Naby Keita will be really desperate to avoid injuries this season and you can read more on that here.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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