Peter Crouch is of the opinion that Jurgen Klopp shouldn’t start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Saturday’s fixture against Manchester City.
The 26-year-old has featured in 13 matches for the Reds this season so far, scoring four goals while providing an assist. Oxlade-Chamberlain missed most of last season due to a long-term injury he sustained in April 2018 but has looked decent for Liverpool this season so far, netting a couple of really good goals.
However, Crouch feels that the England international should not start against Manchester City this weekend as he’s not ready to be in the lineup for a match of such magnitude. As quoted by the Express, the former Liverpool man told BT Sport: “I don’t think he’s quite ready yet. He’s getting up to full fitness but what he is doing, he’s scoring goals and it’s a priceless commodity to have. I just think he’s not quite there to be starting games of the magnitude of the weekend but he’s knocking on the door as you say.
“But at the moment I think Liverpool have got a settled side, why would you change a winning team? They win every single week. Not always the most comfortable but they’re winning and I think they’ll keep the same side.
“I think behind closed doors [Klopp] will be asking more of him but what he does offer is something completely different to the [Jordan] Hendersons, the [Georginio] Wijnaldums and the Fabinhos. He can go wide, he can beat people, he’s good on the ball and he’s an attacking threat. I just think, when you play someone like Man City, that three in midfield gives the full-backs license to go and I think sometimes he’s a bit too forward-thinking at times.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has given some fine performances for Liverpool so far and there’s no doubt that he can receive more starts as the season progresses. There’s a good chance that Klopp could go for the midfield trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Wijnaldum but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise if the 26-year-old starts against Manchester City on Saturday.