Thierry Henry has praised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the midfielder disputed the Frenchman’s earlier criticism.
Henry was heavily critical of Oxlade-Chamberlain when he made the move from North London to Liverpool this summer, but says the Englishman deserves plaudits for his form at Liverpool.
“I still don’t know what he’s good at,” Henry said when the 24-year-old left Arsenal, comments that were recently branded “stupid” by the midfielder.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had a tricky start to his career at Anfield, making appearances from the bench in thrashings at Manchester City and Spurs.
Since then however, the speedy ex-Gunner has found his feet in Jürgen Klopp’s system, and even started adding end product to his performances, something he always lacked at Arsenal.
He has three goals and five assists in the league for Liverpool this season, after only managing nine goals and 14 assists in 132 league games for the Gunners.
Henry said in his Sky Sports column:
“At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position is.
“One day he was a wing back, one day he was a left winger, one day a right winger and on another a number 10. That was the problem, we just didn’t know.”
“For Liverpool, we are now seeing a midfielder that puts the pressure on the opposition at every opportunity, he wins the ball back, he scores goals and also gives assists. Now we can see clearly what type of player he is.”
As Henry says, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a utility man at Arsenal, moving positions every week and never really finding his best form. Klopp has deployed him mostly as an advanced central midfielder with two more defensive minded players supporting him, and he has flourished.
The 24-year-old has been in fantastic form recently, providing assists to Mohamed Salah in both of Liverpool’s last two fixtures. He will be hoping to keep his starting place for the trip to Old Trafford next weekend.
If Oxlade-Chamberlain can keep his form until the summer, he should be at the top of Gareth Southgate’s list for central midfielders, especially if the likes of Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson are placed behind him to do the dirty work.
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