Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp has called for patience with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the midfielder works to discover the form which made Liverpool part with £35million to bring him to Anfield.
The midfielder missed the majority of last season following a horrific injury to his right knee against Roma in April last year, and although he has featured in Liverpool’s friendlies against Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon, the former Arsenal star looked off the pace and sometimes appeared to be in pain.
Following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with the Sporting in New York, Klopp has disclosed that the player’s struggles on-pitch is down to a niggling calf problem.
‘Two games in a row with 60 minutes– that is very important,’ said Klopp.
‘He has been a bit unlucky with a calf problem. It is not a tear but something he has it from time to time when the intensity gets too high for him.
‘He had to get through the first 20 minutes when he was really involved and then he felt it.’
‘Then he was not part of the game anymore, which is not too cool for the others if there is someone on and off. Apart from that he has made all the sessions, which is unbelievably important.’
His calf problem regardless, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s brilliance created Liverpool’s second goal– scored by Gini Wijnaldum– with the midfielder delivering an audacious pass with the outside of his foot.
Although his painful knee cramp has not been too serious to make him sit out of any of Liverpool’s pre-season training sessions, the club has designed a special fitness programme to ensure that they are not pushing him too hard.
‘It is very positive that he has made all the sessions,’ added Klopp; before giving his analysis of his team’s pre-season campaign so far.
‘You have these games which have no real value at the end. It is different to the Premier League.’
‘Some things I liked, some things I did not like. Stability, consistency, fighting for results. It is all important. Consistency on a high level is most important. The boys should be there again to make the next step.’