Liverpool Opinion: Reds should offer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a new deal
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are set to offer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a 12-month extension to his current deal, just days after the England international made his much-awaited return from a long-term injury that had kept him on the sidelines for more than a year.
Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a lower leg fracture last season in the UEFA Champions League semi-final clash against Roma and he returned to action as a substitute in Liverpool’s 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at Anfield on Saturday last week.
The crowd at Anfield welcomed him back with a standing ovation, acknowledging all the hard work that he has put in his rehabilitation to get himself back in contention at such a crucial stage of the season.
The Daily Mail understands that Oxlade-Chamberlain will put pen to paper on a 1-year extension to his current £120,000-a-week contract in the next few days, which should secure his future at Anfield until the summer of 2023.
A youth product of Southampton, Oxlade-Chamberlain accumulated 20 goals and 32 assists for Arsenal in all competitions before completing a £35 millionmove to Liverpool in the summer of 2017.
The 25-year-old, who has 6 goals from 32 appearances for England, played a key role for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the midfield in his inaugural season an Anfield, registering 5 goals and 8 assists from 42 appearances in all competitions.
Well, it would be an understatement that the Reds badly missed the services of the electric and versatile midfielder earlier in the season.
He established himself as one of Klopp’s trusted lieutenants upon his arrival at Anfield a couple of seasons back, proving himself to be an indispensable component of the team under the manager’s high-intensity pressing philosophy.
Liverpool brought in Naby Keita from RB Leipzig last summer to cover for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s absence but the Guinean has hardly had a positive impact, barring his sudden upturn of form in the last five games or so.
He hasn’t managed to fill in the boots of the Englishman and Liverpool have been forced to rely heavily on the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner.
Goals and assists from central midfield are always crucial to a team’s success and even more so when a team is challenging for the title.
That is one aspect of the game where Liverpool have lagged behind Man City and one cannot help but feel that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s creativity could have made a telling difference.
He is one of those players, who can play anywhere in the midfield or attack and his versatility,work-rate and vision have always been the hallmarks of his game. The 25-year-old is likely to play a big part in the first-team in the years to come.
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The fans have every reason to be pleased about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return and the news regarding his new contract should make them even happier.
Liverpool’s decision to offer him an extension can be seen as a vote of confidence in the player, following his return from injury and the Reds should reward him with a new deal without any further delay.