Liverpool will miss one of its squad regulars in 2018-19, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
The 24-year-old England international suffered the blow in April’s UEFA Champions League semifinal against AS Roma, and has been sidelined ever since.
The injury forced Oxlade-Chamberlain to miss a call up to England for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as well.
“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab,” manager Jurgen Klopp said of the injury. “We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery we were sure of it. I hope everyone treats this information responsibly.
“There has been no change, no setback – it’s exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for. The new information is that we’re now giving more detail publicly.
“It is typical of Ox that he didn’t want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time. His surgery – which he had on the day of our second leg in Rome – has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well. But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus.”
The former Arsenal midfielder joined the Reds last season after a falling out in playing time with the Gunners.
In 42 matches with Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain recorded five goals in all competitions.
Knee ligament damage will cost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his World Cup and a potential UEFA Champions League final, but it hasn’t hurt his perspective.
The 24-year-old injured his knee in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Roma, and needed to be stretchered off the field.
[ MORE: LFC 2-1 Roma | Klopp reacts ]
Liverpool announced the extent of his injury on Wednesday, and “The Ox” took to social media to declare his regret.
Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted that he’s “gutted” to be hurt, but added, “This pales in comparison to how the family of the Liverpool fan badly hurt before last night’s game must be feeling. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones.”
The player is referring to a 53-year-old man was left in critical condition after being beaten by Roma supporters before the match at Anfield.
This is awful news.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the rest of the season for Liverpool and England after damaging ligaments in his right knee.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, injured his knee in a tackle with Aleksandar Kolarov early in Liverpool’s 5-2 win against AS Roma in their UEFA Champions League second leg on Tuesday.
In a statement released on Liverpool’s website on Wednesday they revealed the extent of the Ox’s injury.
”Liverpool FC can confirm Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 2017-18 season is over for both club and country due to a knee ligament injury sustained against AS Roma on Tuesday evening. The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England.
“The 24-year-old was assessed by the club’s medical team at Melwood on Wednesday morning and no specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage. However, Oxlade-Chamberlain will now begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness again as soon as possible, returning to action next season.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has reinvented himself this season in a central midfield role following his move from Arsenal in the summer of 2017.
His driving runs from midfield have caused so many problems and he was in the best form of his career over he past few months.
After struggling for so long with injures, the Ox finally had a run of six months or so without an injury and he was fulfilling his potential with big goals and performances against Manchester City in Liverpool’s wins against them in the PL an UEFA Champions League.
The fact that Oxlade-Chamberlain will have to watch on if Liverpool reach the UCL final and then again for the World Cup with England is a cruel blow.
Jurgen Klopp does not seem confident that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will play again this season.
The Liverpool and England midfielder suffered an injury to his right knee early on in Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Roma in their UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg, as he appeared to extend his right knee under his body when making a challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov.
Speaking to the media following Liverpool’s dramatic win, Klopp was downbeat about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s chances of playing again this season.
“We don’t know exactly but if the medical department are quite concerned without a scan, you can imagine it’s difficult. The season is not that long anymore. It doesn’t look good,” Klopp said. “I’m a very positive person and still hope it only feels bad, but is not that bad. We’ll see. We lost a fantastic player tonight. It’s not good news.”
This injury has come at such a bad time for The Ox.
He has been flourishing with Liverpool in a central midfield role and has delivered key goals and assists in big wins since arriving from Arsenal last summer. Most notably the Ox’s driving midfield runs have caused Manchester City all kinds of problems and he scored two screamers against them in wins at Anfield in the Premier League and UCL.
Georginio Wijnaldum stepped in admirably for Oxlade-Chamberlain against Roma and the Dutch midfielder will be used alongside James Milner and Jordan Henderson from here on out by Klopp, especially with Emre Can battling a back injury.
As for Oxlade-Chamberlain, he will now be focused on trying to be fit for the UCL final on May 26 (if Liverpool get there) and on making England’s 2018 World Cup squad. That seems like a big ask given Klopp’s gloomy assessment.
Liverpool won Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal 5-2 against Roma at Anfield, but it’s show-stopping 80-minute isn’t carrying a ton of momentum in the echoes of the final whistle.
[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-2 Roma ]
That’s because of two factors:
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off the field with an ugly injury
- The two in the score line came in the final 10 minutes, as Liverpool almost inexplicably lost focus.
Before we get to Point No. 2, here’s Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on “The Ox”:
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is probably a really bad injury,” Klopp said on BT Sport in England. “That is bad news for us. The squad doesn’t get bigger at the moment so we need to be creative in the next few games.”
As for the Roma goals, Klopp was frustrated but ultimately happy to walk away with a three-goal lead.
Edin Dzeko headed home the Roma opener in the 81st minute before Diego Perotti converted a penalty kick after James Milner handled a ball in the box. Roma collected shot attempts in the final 10 minutes to finish the match 21-14 in Liverpool’s favor.
Klopp did not think it should have been a PK.
“Long term perfect performance for pretty much 80 minutes or so,” he said, via the BBC. “We made defensively one mistake. Penalty is not a penalty but that is the situation and now it is 5-2. Of course we would have been more happy with 5-0 or 5-1 but 5-2 is a fantastic result. We go there and try again.”