Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has picked up yet another knee injury as the former Arsenal man continues to struggle with injuries at Liverpool and will miss the Community Shield match at Wembley against his old side.
It’s easy, though often distasteful, to gloat when misfortune befalls a former player who left for a rival.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, seems like such a nice chap, who has had such a crap time with injuries that you really do wish he’d be allowed an unbroken run so we can see what type of player he truly is, even if that is for another team.
While the papers struck something of a gloomy tone during his last injury at the start of the year, Liverpool’s official update, however, was more positive, if not ideal.
“I spoke a second ago with him,” Jurgen Klopp said at his post-match press conference that the very same papers had access to.
“If you see it already on television again, for us in the game it was not so easy, he showed me now the video and when he’s landing he gets the kick and rolls over.
“He feels OK. We will see. Of course, not perfect – far away from being perfect – but we will see if it’s a ligament stretch only or is ruptured, partly ruptured or whatever, we have to see.
“That’s a big shadow again but that’s how it is in contact sport. He seems to be OK.”
From that, one journalist came up with this moving account:
That injury ruled him out for just four Liverpool games and he was back in time to feature in every Liverpool game as they went on to win the title for the first time in 30 years. Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t play the full 90 in a single league game, however, all season. He almost made it in Liverpool’s second game of the season against Southampton, but Jurgen Klopp took him off with just a minute remaining on the clock.
In all, Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to be involved in 43 games for Liverpool during 19/20, but he played the full 90 just once – against Monterrey in the semi-final of the FIFA club World Cup. The Ox started 25 games, came on as a sub 18 times and was taken off 24.
Added to three FA Cups he won with Arsenal, he also has a Champions League, FIFA Super Cup and FIFA club World Cup medal to call his own.
Sadly, however, none of those helped fix his knees and the 27-year-old has now damaged knee ligaments in pre-season training that will keep him out of action until October at the earliest.
“It looks like it is very similar to what Hendo had, which keeps him out for we don’t know for sure exactly how long, but for sure this pre-season he will not make a game, Arsenal for sure not and then we will see. The next game is probably two weeks later, but I don’t know.
“We have to wait but it is far away from being perfect, of course. It is really hard for him and hard for us, but it is not to change.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamebrlain’s injury record
This is Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 6th Liverpool injury.
He ruptured is ACL in his first season with Liverpool after almost making it through the entire 17/18 season without issue. That kept him out for 293 days and he missed 44 games.
Fitness issues kept Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined for another four games as he tried to return following his knee injury then he popped a hamstring that put him out for another 34 days and six games.
A head injury in October, 2019, an anomaly on this injury record sheet that just kept him out for a single, mandated game.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s last injury before this one was an ankle problem that ruled him out from 21 December til 3 January, missing Liverpool’s crucial Christmas schedule.
Now, a knee has gone again.
During the six years he was at Arsenal, the Ox suffered 11 different injuries, ruling him out of a total of 154 games. In his last four seasons at Arsenal, he suffered four serious knee injuries alone that kept him out for 308 days.
He’s been at Liverpool for two-and-a-half years and this is already his fifth injury. The other four kept him out for 353 days, missing 50 games (although one of those was a head injury and a mandated absence).
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to be, sadly, one of those types of players, cursed to be forever injured or returning from injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on why he left Arsenal
Oxlde-Chamberlain says he left Arsenal to play in midfield rather than out wide where Arsene Wenger would play him.
“I wouldn’t say I wanted to leave Arsenal because I didn’t believe we could win,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said in April, 2020. “I just didn’t believe I was going to be able to play where I wanted to play and that was it.
“Winning the Champions League was obviously a dream come true and a massive bonus but I didn’t feel like ‘Ah, I told you so’ [at Arsenal].
“When I had to make the decision to leave, it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and to be honest there was a part of me that didn’t know if it was the right thing.
“I feel a lot of my best performances for Arsenal came in midfield but I never played consistently in that position.”
In the 19/20 season Klopp did indeed play the Ox in midfield, although it works out more 50:50 than it appears on first glance. He featured in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield 23 times while on the left wing eight, right wing four, left midfield and right midfield twice each as well as two appearances at attacking midfielder.
They all add up to 20, although really it should be more a 25/18 split with the attacking midfield appearances being counted as midfield, because that’s what they are.