When Alex Oxlade Chamberlain left Arsenal for Liverpool, the supporters knew that they’d lost a special talent and one that, given the right guidance, could be influential in the right team.
Jurgen Klopp saw what was being under utilized and misused at the Emirates and lured him to Anfield in 2017 for £35m. The German boss had been interested in the player for some time and when linked with the Chamberlain back in 2016, Klopp denied any intention of making a bid,
“I don’t usually say anything about transfer rumours but I can make an exception. Nonsense. This kind of thing I think a lot about but I say nothing because it is really not interesting what I think about this. You (the media) are already on a path so do with it what you want but from our side nothing else to say about it.”
The media were proved right in the end and of course Klopp was interested back then. After the bitterness between the two clubs over the Luis Suárez deal for the much criticized sum of £40,000,001, Klopp was always likely to do a low key deal and when he found that the player wanted to leave, he was first in line with his chequebook.
The move went ahead and there were signs that it was the perfect move for Oxlade Chamberlain but in 2018, he suffered a serious knee injury against Roma.
However, since his return, Klopp has worked wonders with Chamberlain and he seems to be reaping the rewards of a modest investment which has seen him earn a recall to the England squad.
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The transformation has been staggering, similar to what happened when Raheem Sterling went to Manchester City but in all honesty, he would have eventually achieved the same progression under the German.
Chamberlain’s confidence is now there to match the undeniable talent and the goals are also starting to come, which will be no surprise to Arsenal fans because they knew that Chamberlain would flourish under Klopp, who works to the players strengths, something Wenger never did.
Wenger often summoned Chamberlain from the bench and played him out of position, which meant that in the end, the decision to leave was an easy one.
Since the move Chamberlain has shown admirable respect for the club and the fans. Chamberlain hardly celebrates a goal against his former club and is only too keen to do Arsenal a favor against rivals Spurs.
What a shame that Arsenal don’t have Chamberlain now and that he appears to be reaching his peak in a Liverpool shirt. There’s so much more to come and his contribution at the highest level, including the international stage will no doubt continue.