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Ox not ready for central role, Klopp says

17 October 2017 11:34

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's promising cameo against Manchester United but does not intend to use him in a central midfield role for some time yet.

Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal and turned down a potential move to Chelsea as he seeks to secure a regular berth at the heart of a top-level side.

The 24-year-old was convinced by Klopp's enthusiasm and passion to commit his future to Anfield.

But the Southampton academy product is still getting to grips with life on Merseyside, coming off the bench on Saturday and impressing out wide in the 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool's fierce rivals Manchester United.

"I cannot say how happy I was to see Chambo playing like this," Klopp said of that substitute performance.

"I said he needed a little bit of time and my most positive thing was that finally he has arrived, but it always takes time.

"I really loved the performance when he came on. He is a big signing for us, obviously, but a fast player like him needs the circumstances to perform so he needed time.

"So far it has been okay but not what we know he is able to do. But then Saturday, bang – comes on, uses his speed, really spot on, it was a very nice sign. I loved to see it."

Liverpool are away to Maribor in the Champions League on Tuesday and while Oxlade-Chamberlain could be involved again, he should not expect to earn his preferred position any time soon. 

"Without training and playing in the middle of the park it doesn't make sense," Klopp said.

"At this moment he is training only on the wing so it is clear, when he does start [playing in the middle, it] can never be without training as an 'eight' first.

"It is not good for him, and it is not good for us, and at the moment when he is training he trains on the wing.

"At the moment it is clear but I know once again it is a long-term thing, it is not fixed for the next five years."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
3 17 +17 35
4 17 +16 31
5 17 +14 31
6 17 +4 31
7 17 +10 30

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