Jamie Redknapp says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a completely different player under Jurgen Klopp, but are his claims true that the former Gunner was standing still at Arsenal?
The 24-year-old scored his second league goal of the season for Liverpool against Swansea City, in a 5-0 win at Anfield, and Redknapp was impressed with the performance.
“I looked at him at Arsenal and it was like he was treading water and going nowhere. But under Jurgen Klopp I am seeing a completely different player. I am seeing he is fit, with a great attitude and wanting to win tackles,” he said.
“It’s probably unfair to question how he was coached under Arsene Wenger. But I watched him play and I didn’t feel he developed for years.
“It was a really bold move for him (to move to Liverpool) and one that is really paying off. Look at how much he is improving. He has got fitter, stronger, and he is a different player than he was at Arsenal.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain will definitely be pleased to score. But by all accounts – other than Redknapp’s – he didn’t actually have a good game. Sofascore gave him the joint-lowest match rating for a Liverpool player.
The midfielder himself told Sky Sports: “We got the three points but personally I was quite disappointed with myself today. I just want more from myself. There were a few moments where I could have done better with my end product.”
So, perhaps Redknapp is so wrapped up in the narrative that he’s lost track of reality a bit. Oxlade-Chamberlain now has five goal contributions in 26 matches. So he’s not on track to make double figures this season. That’s no better than he did in North London.
Plus, the media often ignore how much the England international’s stock increased under Arsene Wenger. The Gunners paid around £15m for the player, but sold him on for £40m while his contract was in its final year.
Clearly, the ex-Southampton man must’ve improved since he was 17. Either that or Jurgen Klopp really isn’t careful with his money. Overall, I’m not convinced by the “completely different player” hype just yet.