Manchester United legend Roy Keane has claimed Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career has stalled due to injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 28, joined Liverpool in August 2017 for £34.2million from Arsenal, with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp keen on the versatility of the midfielder.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was previously a winger before Klopp turned him into a central midfielder.
Despite a promising start to life at Anfield, injuries quickly hampered his progress under Klopp. He saw his place in the team taken by Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara.
Keane spoke about the England midfielder’s woes for Klopp’s side. He told ITV (via Daily Mirror):
“Injury issues. He (Oxlade-Chamberlain) is now, what, 28? His career has stalled in recent years. He’s been left behind a bit. But a quality player.
Since joining Liverpool, the midfielder has made just 232 appearances in just over four years. He has scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists during this period.
Did Oxlade-Chamberlain make the wrong decision to leave Arsenal for Liverpool?
When Oxlade-Chamberlain turned down a new £180,000 contract with the Gunners in 2017, many Arsenal fans were in disbelief. He was a 23-year-old player who had been developed by then-coach Arsene Wenger.
But Liverpool were on the rise and the attraction of Klopp, who was just getting started at Anfield, was enough to turn the Englishman’s head.
Yet the highs of Ox’s career still come from his time at the Emirates, where he played an important role in the final years of Wenger’s reign.
For Arsenal, Ox has scored 20 goals and provided 32 assists in 198 games. There was a feeling that if the player could shrug off the fitness issues, a future England winger was on the horizon.
But his move to Anfield immediately converted him into Klopp’s midfield and soon injuries would affect his progress.
Arsenal fans can reflect on the England midfielder’s departure and consider it a bargain. But at the time, many were discouraged at the thought of losing genuine emerging talent.
He was a former Southampton academy product who rejected Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur for a move to the Emirates in 2011. Yet here he joined another Premier League rival, leaving a difficult time for the Gunners who had more in need of repair.