Can Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make Liverpool’s starting team?

If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s what Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done overnight, rejecting Chelsea to sign with Liverpool days after he was on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing at Anfield with Arsenal. The Portsmouth-born lad is on the verge of signing a $65.3 million deal with Liverpool, ending a six-year stint at the Emirates where he made 198 appearances. Reports suggest the Ox rejected Chelsea for Liverpool so he can play centre-mid over right back. But how does he compare to Liverpool’s already stacked midfield?

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Arsenal’s best in a shaky start to the season which has seen them lose two of their first three matches. The winger has created five chances, had seven shots on goal, has had 17 successful take-ons, and has made 101 passes. While Liverpool also have a competitive attack he might be better suited to playing there and there is every chance that is where Jurgen Klopp will utilise the former Southampton man, but if centre-mid is where he wants to play this is what he’s up against:

Jordan Henderson

  • Three matches
  • Two chances created
  • Two interceptions
  • Three clearances
  • 152 passes with a 75 per cent accuracy
  • Six tackles won

Emre Can

  • Two matches
  • Three chances created
  • One assist
  • Four tackles won
  • Three take-ons
  • Five headed duels won
  • 77 passes with an 85 per cent accuracy

Georginio Wijnaldum

  • Three matches
  • Three chances created
  • Nine tackles made with a 100 per cent accuracy
  • Four headed duels won
  • 87 passes with an 81 per cent accuracy

So Wijnaldum and Can have been playing too well to get dropped for a new signing, and if Klopp opts to drop Henderson the captain might not take that too lightly, and with Adam Lallana returning from injury soon, Coutinho returning from his “back injury”, and Monaco’s Thomas Lemar potentially on the way, you’d have to think Oxlade-Chmaberlain is going to have to play in the final third if he wants game time. Let’s not forget James Milner either.

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