Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says he’s feeling quicker after a full pre-season in which he was trigger happy, shooting from range whenever he got the chance.
Rival fans might laugh if you told them that Chamberlain is Liverpool’s secret weapon this season but Manchester City fans will be the first ones to tell you about how the damage he can do on his day.
It’s a real shame that we’re still banging on about how good Chambo was in the Champions League knock-out stages on the way to Kiev in 2017/18 but if he hadn’t suffered so many different injuries since then, he’d be a devastating player by now.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 28-year-old said: “I feel like I’m at a place where I’m feeling sharper, quicker, fitter, stronger.”
This will be like music to Jurgen Klopp’s ears. Liverpool fans have precious little to talk about right now and so we’re fixating on the injury news we’ve received recently.
Roberto Firmino is out for around a month, Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott have undisclosed injuries and while things may well turn out to be better than they seem, tension is high as fans are frustrated after a transfer window that yielded precious little.
The good news is that Naby Keita and Chamberlain, two players who almost never manage to stay fit when the going gets tough, seem to be at their strongest points in their Liverpool careers and that has to count for something.
Chamberlain could still end up playing in a central attacking role for Liverpool as he was played there during pre-season and while the €46.4m Englishman is hardly a natural finisher or instinctive with his movement, his long-range shooting has always been very good and he is able to generate quite a bit of power.
Liverpool don’t need him to turn into a 15-20 goal per season attacker overnight but while Firmino is injured, if Klopp calls on him, if he can chip in with a goal or two, it could go a long way towards ensuring injuries don’t define another season for the Reds.