Manager Jürgen Klopp has claimed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move from Arsenal to Liverpool this summer was a “kind of relief”.
Klopp was asked about Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash with Leicester, unsurprisingly given that Ox and Liverpool have been disappointing in recent weeks, losing 5-0 to Manchester City and dropping points to Sevilla and Burnley.
But the Reds manager was defensive about the transfer, saying: “It would be strange for me to say it after two and half weeks when Arsène Wenger said this after working with him for six years,” reports the Guardian.
“But a new start is very often a kind of relief, that’s how it is. You are in a situation with your old club – and I don’t say this about Alex specifically – and you accept it and it is difficult to make the next step.”
“I thought it made complete sense for Alex to change club and to come here. So far I can’t see that [he lacks self-belief]. He has settled in perfectly. He knows the situation.
“He played all the games for Arsenal from the beginning and now he comes here and is on the bench so it looks ‘Oh, not the best decision’ but it is long-term thing. We want to use him and to prepare him also. It is all good from this side at the moment.”
Although Klopp claims he wasn’t talking about the Ox specifically, the question was about the English midfielder so I think it’s pretty clear he meant the answer to be about him too. I’d argue that it was far more of a relief for Arsenal given how the whole situation panned out.
Oxlade-Chamberlain could have ended up leaving for free next summer, he could have stayed with the Gunners and continued to put in performances like the one against Liverpool, or poisoned the dressing room with his obvious desire to leave.
Instead, Arsenal got paid a large sum of money and results immediately improved. Sead Kolašinac scored twice and assisted twice in six games, and Hector Bellerín seems to have returned to his best, according to the fans at least. Not a bad outcome, all things considered.