Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has explained why playing for Liverpool this season was his only option.
The Ox believes that there are ‘really exciting’ things to come from Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp in particular, which is why signing for the Merseyside club was the only option for him this summer.
“The first thing was the tough decision to leave Arsenal,” the midfielder told Sky Sports.
“That was the only thing that was really tough for me and the deliberation but Liverpool was the only option for me in terms of where I thought I would be playing.
“The team and the feel of the whole football club in general just sat right with me.
“I think there are really exciting things to come here and especially with this manager so I felt it was right for me to push to be a part of that.
“I’m delighted that I finally got the opportunity to.”
The 24-year-old allegedly turned down a move to Chelsea where he would apparently earn £200k-per-week but be played at wing-back, just like at Arsenal.
However, for me, the main takeaway from most of the Ox’s recent comments is his view of the manager.
When he first signed for Liverpool, he spoke about Klopp’s connection with his players and how he wanted that for himself, which hints that he didn’t have that with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and he feels it would be beneficial if he did.
“The thing that stood out for me was (Klopp’s) relationship with the players, how close he seems to bond with the players on and off the field,” Ox said. “That’s massive and it’s definitely a big plus when you’re looking to progress, having that relationship with the manager, that definitely helps.
“And then obviously the way his teams play, that’s definitely inspirational for me and was one of the instrumental [reasons] – if not the main reason – that I felt this place was definitely the place for me.”
It’s clear that, aside from the expectation of playing centrally and getting a wage hike compared to his previous £65k-per-week at Arsenal, the Ox just didn’t see himself progressing as a player under Wenger.
It’s sad because the England international spend six injury-laden years in north London and it probably does feel like a kick in the teeth for the boss, especially with all the Ox’s comments about Klopp since he left.