Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been performing well for Liverpool this year as the midfielder returns to his previous form. It’s so good to see the attacking midfielder fit and firing again. Ox made his fourth consecutive start for Liverpool against Porto in the Champions League, the first time he has done so since 2018. It’s just rewarding not only for his work rate and improved showings but his patience, as he played fewer than 300 minutes last season. It has been a frustrating couple of seasons for him as he initially struggled with injury and once fit, has never managed a regular run of games in the starting XI.
Chamberlain was given a couple of starts at the beginning of the Premier League season but the midfielder failed to make his mark on the game. He didn’t offer much either defensively or in an attacking sense in those games. Given the injury crisis of Liverpool’s midfield, and with Jordan Henderson only fit enough for the bench, Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a third consecutive start against Arsenal and put up a brilliant performance for the Reds against his old club.
With Thiago back to full fitness, Chamberlain has been playing above Thiago and Fabinho in the recent games he has started. As both these midfielders are ball-playing players and can hold up play, it gives Chamberlain the freedom to press higher up the pitch and try to close down on the opponents.
The above visual shows us the passing and progression stats for Oxlade-Chamberlain. His passing metrics indicate that he has been significantly better than the median league value for the same stats. Chamberlain has a high number of passes played into the final third and lies in the 93rd percentile for this. He also has 4.05 progressive runs per 90 minutes and is always trying to get into pockets of space inside the final third.
Ox’s pass map in the Premier League indicates that he has been heavily involved in distributing the ball towards the wider areas of the pitch and also plays through passes into the final third. He has attempted 1.13 through passes per 90 minutes and also has a very high xT from these passes.
The above visual shows us the pass map for Chamberlain in the Champions League. The midfielder has featured in all five games in the UCL and has been performing well. He has a high xT from the passes he has played into the final third.
Apart from passing and distributing the ball, Chamberlain also has a lethal right foot and can score goals when he gets the ball in the final third. His shot map indicates that most of the shots he has attempted are outside the penalty but still have a high xG. He is always a threat to the opposition keeper when he gets the ball in these areas.
The above visual shows us the xT Chamberlain has generated from his passes to individual players in the Champions League. The Englishman has generated the highest xT from his passes to Thiago. He has not played many passes to his teammates, but still has a high xT from the passes he has completed to most of his teammates.
Chamberlain provides the right type of gameplay Klopp requires from his attacking midfielders, as he can press the opposition high and can play quick passes to his front three to create goal-scoring chances. December is going to be a tough month for Klopp as they have several games coming up. Rotation will be the key for the German, and he will need his players to be fit. If Oxlade-Chamberlain can manage to stay fit, and especially with nine December games to get through, he will undoubtedly get more game time. And after his performances in the recent weeks, he will help Liverpool get more positive results.