Jamie Carragher’s prediction of a new role for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool has been proven wrong by the signing of Calvin Ramsay. The England international is facing an uncertain future on Merseyside, having struggled to nail down a consistent spot in Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven in recent seasons.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Anfield career so far has been plagued by injuries since his £35million arrival from Arsenal in the summer of 2017. The midfielder has made 132 appearances in five seasons since, and has now entered the final year of his contract at the club.
Aston Villa and West Ham are both said to be mulling over a summer move for the 28-year-old, and Liverpool’s stance over a prospective sale remains unclear. The latest reports indicate a fee of around £12m could be enough to strike a deal, but it has also been suggested that Klopp would rather keep Oxlade-Chamberlain for one more season before allowing him to depart as a free agent.
The Liverpool boss has seemingly settled on a favoured midfield trio of captain Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara in front of Fabinho. Oxlade-Chamberlain made just one Premier League appearance following the January transfer window, and speculation over a move for Jude Bellingham next summer indicates the Reds are likely plotting a midfield rebuild without the £35m man.
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The Sky Sports pundit posted: “Could the Ox not play there? Got the pace and engine, he’ll be fine on the ball and used to being in crossing areas after spending so long there as a winger.”
Given Oxlade-Chamberlain’s experience at both wing-back and as a winger, it was a theory that made sense. However, all of the England international’s 28 appearances last season came in central midfield or in a wide attacking role.
It is also an avenue for first-team minutes that has seemingly now been closed off for Oxlade-Chamberlain following the arrival of Ramsay. The promising Aberdeen full-back has been signed to provide competition for Alexander-Arnold for a first-team spot.
The departures of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi could hand Oxlade-Chamberlain more opportunities to impress in the new season, albeit the majority of these will still likely be from the bench. However, whether it be in midfield, in attack or at full-back as Carragher once suggested, it appears time is fast running out on the 28-year-old’s Liverpool career.