After a difficult start to life on Merseyside, things are finally beginning to look up for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 24-year-old signed for Liverpool on transfer deadline day from Arsenal for £35m, a fee which a lot of people balked at, considering he only scored nine times in 136 appearances for the Gunners.
Videos emerged on social media of Oxlade-Chamberlain shooting wildly wide and over, falling over and losing the ball.
Unfortunately for him, his Liverpool career started in a similarly disastrous manner, making his debut as a half-time substitute in their 5-0 battering by Manchester City.
He didn't start a game in the Premier League for the Reds until November, though he made the most of it by scoring his first goal for the club, helping them to beat West Ham 4-1.
His manager, Jurgen Klopp, has now played him from the start in three of the last four league games, helping Liverpool to reignite their push for a Champions League place after a tricky start.
And having finally forced his way into the German's plans, Oxlade-Chamberlain thanked Klopp for helping to get him into the best physical shape of his life, as a result of their intense training and playing style.
"I’ve definitely got the idea and I know in my head what he demands. You say ‘fully up to speed’ – it’s maybe one of those things that can take longer than that," he told Liverpool's official website, per the Metro.
"I think the more I play and the more consistently I play I’ll be physically fully up to speed with the demands, but I definitely feel that I’m in a really good place physically and I think I’ve made strides in that respect, with how intense the training is here and how demanding this manager is.
"I think I’ve definitely improved on that and I think I’ll keep improving with doing the things that he wants and keep practicing the way he wants to train. The more I play, obviously physically you adapt and get fitter and stronger, so I’ve definitely got an understanding of what’s needed now and how he wants the boys to play and specifically me in my position."
The winger-turned-central midfielder has now got his sights set on becoming a mainstay in the team, which will be hugely difficult given the club's competition for places.
Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Georginio WIjnaldum all currently rotate between the two more defensive midfield positions, with Philippe Coutinho given a more creative role in front of them.
But the former Arsenal man is determined to regular get his name on the team sheet, which he believes is possible by contributing directly more via goals and assists.
"It’s just a case of making sure I keep doing the right things and when I get the opportunities to play, just try and do as well as I can," he continued.
"Goals and assists is what my role is – and to work hard for the team as well, so I make sure I always do that."
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