All but confirmed: £40m speed demon will play striker for Liverpool next season

All signs point towards Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being set to play the 2021/22 season for Liverpool as a striker.

The Englishman played the second of the Reds’ short, 30-minute friendlies on Tuesday as he started in the no.9 role against Stuttgart.

The mini-game ended 1-1 as the Anfield outfit tested their fitness in Austria and while most of the focus was on big Ibrahima ‘Ibou’ Konate, supporters were excited to note the attacking role that Oxlade- Chamberlain played.

Within minutes of the start, the Englishman raced in behind and had Mohamed Salah not been wasteful, he would have immediately had an assist in his new role.

While it would be disappointing if Oxlade-Chamberlain is Liverpool’s alternative to signing a new forward this summer, there is no denying that he has what it takes to be a very good number nine.

Roberto Firmino excels in that role because he is able to link play with unbelievable ease as his technique and control allow him to suck defenders in, creating space for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other, is a more natural striker when deployed in that role and he shouldn’t be expected to be anything like Bobby because he truly is one of a kind.

SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA - JULY 20: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a Pre Season friendly between Wacker Innsbruck and FC Liverpool on July 20, 2021 in Saalfelden, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA – JULY 20: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a Pre Season friendly between Wacker Innsbruck and FC Liverpool on July 20, 2021 in Saalfelden, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Speed is his greatest strength as we saw Stuggart were stretched by Oxlade-Chamberlain within minutes of the game kicking off. He’s a speed demon but he’s well-rounded.

The former Arsenal star can carry the ball very well, is an accurate passer, and while we have seen very little of it, his finishing is very good.

As I already said, if the Ox isn’t the only backup that Firmino has going into the 2021/21 season, he is a good option but he’s not good enough to carry the Reds’ attack if the Brazilian misses several games through injury.

Or, if like last season, he struggles for form, it’s a big ask to expect Oxlade-Chamberlain to be Liverpool’s primary striker.

SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA - JULY 20: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a Pre Season friendly between FC Liverpool and VfB Stuttgart on July 20, 2021 in Saalfelden, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA – JULY 20: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a Pre Season friendly between FC Liverpool and VfB Stuttgart on July 20, 2021 in Saalfelden, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool fans were pleasantly surprised with the way that the former Gunner performed on Tuesday but it will be interesting to see how he performs against Premier League opposition in that role.

That said, he did get a goal against Burnley in the no.9 role last season.

Liverpool fans react to Oxlade-Chamberlain

He joined the Reds from Arsenal for a fee reported to be worth £40million and this season could be a watershed campaign if he can avoid injuries.

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

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