Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard are seeing a different picture when it comes to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s potential at Liverpool after his deadline-day move from Arsenal.
As noted by Sky Sports, it cost the Merseyside giants £35m to sign him from the Gunners, with the 24-year-old citing a desire to continue his development elsewhere as the key reason behind his decision to move on from the Emirates after six years.
Many expect him to thrive under Jurgen Klopp and at Liverpool where he will be expected to mature and improve as a player, and Gerrard can only see positive things ahead as he hopes he can become a real stalwart for the Reds.
“I think he definitely strengthens the group and the team,” Gerrard said, as reported by Sky Sports. “He’s English, he’s 24, he’s just coming into his peak years.
“He’s a very quick and exciting player. It seems as if he wasn’t happy at Arsenal, so now hopefully he can settle down, give the best years of his career at Liverpool Football Club. But I think he’s a very, very positive signing.”
Gerrard also makes the same point there about Oxlade-Chamberlain strengthening the group rather than the starting line-up, and that’s where Neville comes in.
The outspoken but respected pundit and Man Utd legend believes that the England international will only strengthen the squad, as he has raised serious question marks over Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability to establish himself in the Liverpool XI, particularly in his preferred position in central midfield.
“He doesn’t get in the best XI,” Neville told Sky Sports News. “(Philippe) Coutinho, (Emre) Can, (Jordan) Henderson, (Adam) Lallana, (Mo) Salah, (Roberto) Firmino all play in front of him. Everyone seems to be eulogising over him in the last 24 hours, but he doesn’t get in the best XI and strengthen their team.
“He does, however, strengthen their squad – he’s a player who could play in Jurgen Klopp’s style. He’s got a huge amount of talent and is a decent lad but he has three or four areas of his game which he has to significantly improve.”
It’s hard to really disagree with Neville there and although Gerrard also makes valuable points, it’s difficult to see ‘the Ox’ forcing his way into that line-up immediately without some flexibility over where he plays.