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One small step for Ox... Klopp praise for under-fire midfielder

16 outubro 2017 18:49

Jurgen Klopp felt Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's substitute cameo during Saturday's 0-0 draw against Manchester United represented a "big step" forward in his Liverpool career.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the Reds from Arsenal on transfer deadline day for £35million but has made a negligible impact so far, with his only start across all competitions coming in the 2-0 EFL Cup defeat at Leicester City.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's Champions League trip to Maribor, Klopp conceded his famed 'Gegenpressing' style means it can take a while for new players to adapt at Anfield, but he was beaming on account of Oxlade-Chamberlain's 12-minute weekend appearance.

"It was very good, I liked it," Klopp told Liverpool's official website – his side having won one of their last eight matches in all competitions.

"Ox is a big signing for us, an English international and stuff like this, but coming in and doesn't play regularly - I understand all the things, but everyone needs time, even Ox. He is cool, it is fine.

"With the different style of play, everything what is new is more intense for a new player. You are exhausted, even in moments when you shouldn't be exhausted, but it's all about trying to adapt to all that stuff.

"We haven't had the time in training because already since he's been in there have been two international breaks, but that’s all.

"When he came on, I think it was obvious it was a big step and I was really happy about this."

Klopp reported encouraging news for Oxlade-Chamberlain's international colleague Adam Lallana, who is on course for a November return from the thigh injury he suffered in pre-season.

"It's absolutely good news. I cannot say now, but maybe after the next international break he could be back," he said.

"It would be fantastic for us, of course. Everybody knows what kind of a quality player he is, so it would be fantastic."

The Liverpool boss has the option to make changes against Group E outsiders Maribor, with no fresh fitness complaints from the weekend to go alongside Lallana, Sadio Mane (hamstring) and Nathaniel Clyne (back).

"We will see about rotation. I don't think it is necessary, but maybe one, two, three or four changes [will be made]. We will see," Klopp said, before adding Loris Karius will start a third consecutive Champions League game in goal.

"It's a very, very important game so, again, it's always a decision about rhythm and being used to each other or bringing in fresh legs. We have a lot of games but I don't think the intensity of the last game should be a reason for the line-up for this game."

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