(Reuters) - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still has room for improvement but there is no denying that the Liverpool midfielder has unbelievable potential, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend and the 24-year-old has showed plenty of signs in recent weeks that he is adapting to the demands at Liverpool since his move from Arsenal in the close season.
The England international set up forward Mohamed Salah for the Egyptian’s 14th league goal of the season and hit the post during a robust individual performance in a central role to boost his chances of facing former club Arsenal in the league on Friday.
Klopp believes Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has scored one league goal in 15 appearances for Liverpool, has more to offer.
“It’s only just the beginning and I really like it, I really like it. Hopefully he stays fit, that’s the most important thing,” Klopp told the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
“He can be much more decisive in a few moments. (He’s sometimes a) little bit too much of a midfielder instead of a striker - there are a lot of things he can improve, but I‘m really happy about the status quo.”
Liverpool have taken 21 points out of a possible 27 in the league and while their forward line has excelled, their success has been built on a newfound defensive stability.
The Merseyside club have let in only four goals in nine games since losing 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in October and centre back Ragnar Klavan, who has stepped in for the injured Joel Matip, believes Klopp’s tactical work has paid off.
“After the defeat at Tottenham we made some changes,” Klavan said.
“Of course in football that kind of day can happen when things don’t work out. The main thing is that you have to learn from it and keep moving forward,” he added.
“We looked at things in training and we knew that as a whole team it was a challenge to address. The changes we made were not major corrections but it was clear we needed more stability in defence so in that kind of way it changed a little.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir