Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain limped off in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Singapore yesterday looking extremely frustrated by the setback.
The midfielder finds himself down the pecking order following the emergence of young talents such as Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot and new signing Fabio Carvalho.
Having started the game, the Ox was forced to withdraw just before half-time, being replaced by Leighton Clarkson.
The Reds ran out winners thanks to Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah but the injury to Chamberlain is a worry for Liverpool’s midfield depth before the start of a new season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is down with an injury and is incredibly frustrated. It doesn't look good.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) July 15, 2022
Chamberlain’s unfortunate injury struggles at Liverpool
Chamberlain was one midfielder who looked like he could leave this summer, especially given that the former Arsenal player has entered the last year of his deal.
He only started nine Premier League games last season and featured 29 times overall – with Jones the only midfielder to feature less across the season.
Given the injury here and Klopp’s insistence about playing youth, it’s likely that he will fall down the pecking order even more.
A move would be great for all parties as it would free up squad space and give Liverpool the chance to sign a more physically reliable midfielder.
Perhaps the shirt number of 15 is the issue as it has been somewhat associated with injuries over the years with Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Aquilani donning the number before Chamberlain.
With a lot of talk surrounding whether should sign another midfielder, this injury certainly boosts the arguments of those who believe they do need another midfielder.
Fans inside the ground enjoyed that! pic.twitter.com/N5xgk6d3L9
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) July 15, 2022
Where once depth was an issue for the Reds, now the issue is having reliable players who are available most weeks of the season.
Liverpool’s senior midfield squad of Thiago, Henderson, Keita, Milner and Chamberlain have all been particularly susceptible to injuries.
With Liverpool playing every single game available to them last year, they showed that they had enough depth to cover across all their competitions.
But with injuries, it could just be a case of bad luck, as Liverpool fans know all too well from the 2020/21 season.
😫 Thiago only managed 45% of Liverpool's Premier League campaign last season. Naby Keita was only available for 34%
😬 Liverpool finished one point behind Man City! Reliability in midfield is a big problem for Jurgen Klopp and hasn't been addressed 👇
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 10, 2022
Youth or New Signing?
For Klopp, he can look to his youth set-up for more midfield back-up; the likes of Tyler Morton could deputise against lower-level opposition if needed.
After all, he did play back-to-back games in the Champions League and starred at the San Siro.
After that, the likes of Jones, Elliot and new signing Carvalho will surely be utilised more often this season, squashing the possibility that Liverpool would sign another midfielder.
Matheus Nunes ticks a number of boxes for Liverpool. He's 6ft, turns 24 in August and has experience playing in a double pivot. Though he pimarily plays on the left for Sporting, he has also been used on the right. pic.twitter.com/sHIuno5b2C
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) July 14, 2022
Whereas Bellingham and Barella are non-starters (for this summer anyway) Nunes has earned a lot of plaudits and would slot perfectly into their midfield.
Reports this week have not ruled a move for the Sporting midfielder and it may be something that develops as the days go on.