Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a 'joy to work with' throughout a Liverpool career that was stymied by injury but still yielded six major trophies, Jürgen Klopp has explained.
After joining from Arsenal in the summer of 2017, Oxlade-Chamberlain made 146 appearances for the Reds and helped the club to Premier League, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, Emirates FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Carabao Cup glory.
His six-year stay on Merseyside unfortunately included spells on the sidelines due to injury, most notably when he was ruled out for around 12 months after sustaining a serious knee issue during the Champions League semi-final victory over AS Roma in April 2018.
Indeed, it is that moment that springs to Klopp’s mind when he reflects on the 29-year-old’s time at Anfield.
“Ox is a super guy, an absolutely super guy. Now with Ox it’s a bigger shame, how it sometimes is with players – he had here super times and now in the end I’m pretty sure he is not 100 per cent happy and I can understand that, definitely,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com.
“But the one moment that comes in my mind, it describes a little bit the time here but as well how good he is, is the situation in the Roma semi-final, the home game when he got injured. In that moment I had no idea how to replace him, honestly – Ox was that good.
“It was everything: he came here, had played from time to time at wing-back at Arsenal, winger for sure, and he became a proper No.8 here in the way we wanted to play – super-energetic, technically outstanding.
“I remember early and we had our first finishing sessions and I looked and thought, ‘He didn’t score that many goals in the past, if I could shoot like you I would start in the morning at seven and finish shooting at nine or 10 o’clock because it’s incredible!’
“So, then he started scoring these wonderful goals against [Manchester] City and in other important games. It was always a real joy to work with him but again, one or two injuries too many caused some problems, obviously.
“I love him. Once I said if I had to choose a player to go on holiday with probably my first choice would be Ox because I’m pretty sure he can organise these things pretty well, he knows the whole world. Together with his missus he could probably organise tickets for each event in England, maybe Europe, and it would be absolutely good fun.
“He is a good talker and I’m pretty sure after his career – which I hope will continue for a long, long time – he will show up anywhere on television. If not, television made a big mistake!”
When asked to pinpoint his favourite moment of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Liverpool career, Klopp replied: “There are many but I just remember the goal against City, in the home game. Getting in between two players, winning the ball back and then a massive strike and Ederson wasn’t even close to the ball.
“That was my favourite football moment and there were a lot of others. Ox won everything here at Liverpool FC, that’s unbelievable, so he will be a legend as well, in the future coming back and stuff like this and I’m pretty sure he takes a lot of fantastic memories with him and we will keep a lot of fantastic memories with him, 100 per cent.”