Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forced Arsene Wenger to sell him to Liverpool in the summer, and with him due to come back to the Emirates tomorrow for the first time since his departure, Jurgen Klopp has been asked about how he has progressed since leaving Arsenal, and he thinks that Wenger wasn’t using the midfielder in his best positions.
The Ox was shuffled around the side in just about every position (except goalkeeper!) and last season he finally got a run in the team when Le Prof changed formation to his 3-4-3 and decided that he could convert Oxlade-Chamberlain into a wing back. Going by what Klopp has said, the Ox was not very happy about that. “When he came here we spoke about the position,” added Klopp. “The only position he didn’t want to play is wing-back but just like Milly [James Milner] if you asked him he would still do it. But even that is different here, it depends on the style of play.”
Klopp went on to say that he has improved from his time at Arsenal because he is given more opportunities to join in the attacks. “I think the biggest improvement and potential for him is being involved in goalscoring situations,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Guardian. “It is unbelievable but he was not asked for this too much in the past.
“If you watch Arsenal in the past their two decisive players were Özil and Sánchez. They are involved in a lot of moments and decisive passes. Özil or Sánchez, then Giroud when he is coming on the pitch. Then you [the rest] are not much involved.
“Here we put it on more shoulders, much more shoulders. If he is on the pitch he needs to be involved in these situations. At the moment it’s all good but I also see there is space for improvement.”
When you consider that the Ox only scored 13 goals in over 160 appearances for Arsenal and he has scored twice under Klopp after making just six starts, you could perhaps agree that Wenger wasn’t making the best use of him.
You can’t blame him for leaving after being shunted around the pitch by Wenger for years!