Jurgen Klopp: 'Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain not ready to play through middle'

Klopp: 'Ox not ready for central role'
© SilverHub
Jurgen Klopp reveals that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will continue playing out wide for the short term, despite the midfielder stating that he wants a more central role.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested that he does not yet trust Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to start in his favoured central position.

The England international confessed last month that he departed Arsenal in the summer in the hope of playing regular football in the heart of midfield.

After making all five of his Premier League appearances for the club so far from the bench, though, Klopp claimed at the weekend that the £35m signing still needs more time to adapt.

Klopp has now reiterated that Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did well in a wide position when introduced against Manchester United last time out, must further bide his time before being unleashed through the middle.

"I cannot say how happy I was to see Chambo playing like this," he told reporters. "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.

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

Oxlade-Chamberlain is part of Liverpool's squad for Tuesday evening's Champions League group-stage tie against Maribor.

The trophy at the Champions League draw in 2013
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