The Curious Case Of The Ox
Will a lack of ‘end product’ continue to mar Oxlade-Chamberlain’s progress at Liverpool?
It’s hard to know what to make of Liverpool’s capture of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Back to back appearances for England would suggest that the Ox is in the form of his life and this is certainly reflected in the Oulala infographic below which highlights how he has ‘upped’ his numbers in a plethora of key areas compared with what he has achieved in previous seasons.
However, he has so far failed to add to his goals or assists tally and it is this lack of end product that has so often been his downfall in the past. In 132 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, the Ox scored just 9 times, while chipping in with 18 assists in the process.
His versatility has not done him any favours and a switch to a wing-back role has even reduced his overall threat, with his expected goals per 90 minutes (0.07) and his expected assists per 90 minutes (0,21) lower than the average he achieved over the previous 3 seasons.
For all his huff and puff, he just does not seem to get into threatening positions often enough, so it will be fascinating to see if he can force his way into Jürgen Klopp’s first team plans or whether his versatility will continue to be his undoing.
Liverpool face a big test this weekend when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad – a place on the bench might be the best he can hope for but don’t rule out the possibility of him being used as a right back either, with Nathaniel Clyne side-lined for the foreseeable future.