Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could have been forgiven if he expected to start for Liverpool against Manchester United this afternoon.
The 24-year-old, who arrived at Anfield in a £40 million move from Arsenal at the end of the summer transfer window, has endured a difficult start to life with the Merseyside outfit.
However, following the news that Sadio Mane will miss the match through injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain must have felt that this was his moment to get his Liverpool career up and running.
Jurgen Klopp, though, opted against starting the England international.
Instead, the German coach deployed Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson in midfield, with Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in attack.
Football fans troll Oxlade-Chamberlain on Twitter
A few cruel football fans on Twitter took the opportunity to troll ‘the Ox’ after he failed to make the starting line-up despite Mane’s injury...
Although it’s still very early days, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool simply hasn’t worked out so far.
Klopp explains why he left out Oxlade-Chamberlain
But what was the reason behind his omission today?
Klopp explained all to Liverpool’s official website.
“Ox just needs a little bit more time to adapt,” Klopp revealed. “He was always interrupted by two-week international breaks; always when he starts taking the next step then international break.
"These boys are used to each other and they know about [each other’s] ways, so I think it makes sense against United that we do not make a lot of experiments because they are quite cool in their approach.”
So, reading between the lines, it seems Klopp doesn’t trust Oxlade-Chamberlain yet and believes the former Arsenal winger still hasn’t adjusted to life at Anfield.
“They are convinced about what they are doing; sometimes a little bit deeper, sometimes a little bit higher,” Klopp added, referring to the players who have been at Liverpool longer. “They don’t need 80 per cent of the ball to feel dominant in the game, so you need a formation in which everybody knows what the other player is doing in each situation.”
Pretty damning comments from Klopp. Is he already regretting signing Oxlade-Chamberlain?
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