Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been advised to leave Anfield this summer by club legend John Barnes.
What’s the story?
Speaking to BettingOdds.com, Barnes claimed that the 27-year-old would be better off joining one of the Reds’ Premier League rivals over the coming months after struggling for game time with Jurgen Klopp’s charges.
“I think (Oxlade-Chamberlain should join) Leicester or West Ham. Leicester would probably be a bit better suited because they’re more stable than West Ham as they know that they will be in the top seven most seasons, which isn’t the case for West Ham.
“However, if he wanted to go back down south, then I think West Ham would be a good move for Alex, too.”
Klopp would be fuming
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool in a £35m move from Arsenal in the summer of 2017.
After enjoying an impressive debut campaign, scoring five goals and providing eight assists in 46 appearances, the versatile ace suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the Champions League semi-final.
The England international has failed to re-establish himself in Klopp’s starting XI on a regular basis since, starting just 19 Premier League games in the last three seasons.
However, when fully fit and in form, the Southampton academy graduate offers a unique set of attributes to the six-time European champions, and the Liverpool boss has openly expressed his admiration for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the past.
“He has shown his class each and every time he has had the opportunity on the pitch, and the weekend was another example of this. He is like dynamite when he comes on,” noted Klopp back in 2017.
“Aggressive in the most positive way. Front foot always. Looking to attack and create. These performances come because of how good his attitude is in training at Melwood. He has the highest quality in everything he does; sometimes I think he is the last to realise this.”
With Gini Wijnaldum departing for French giants Paris Saint-Germain, the Liverpool hierarchy should be focusing on bringing in a replacement rather than showing other midfielders the exit door.
If owners FSG follow the advice of Barnes and attempt to turf the £16.2m-rated Oxlade-Chamberlain out of Anfield, then Klopp would be fuming at them making such a short-sighted decision, especially considering that the Reds have already lost one midfielder.
The financial restrictions imposed upon football by the ongoing pandemic mean Liverpool can’t afford an extensive re-build of the first-team squad, and therefore, they would be better off allowing the box-to-box ace another 12 months to prove his worth before contemplating a sale.