New re­cruit Ox ex­cited by Klopp link-up

Eng­land mid­fielder ready to make Liver­pool de­but against Manch­ester City to­day

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> MANCH­ESTER: Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain is itch­ing to start work with Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp and could make his de­but in to­day’s Premier League head­line clash with Manch­ester City.

The Eng­land mid­fielder, 24, re­jected a new con­tract of­fer from Ar­se­nal and an ap­proach from cham­pi­ons Chelsea to join Liver­pool in a £35 mil­lion deal last week.

He said play­ing in Klopp’s swash­buck­ling team had been a key mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor and he could scarcely have asked for a more high-oc­tane start than a show­down with Pep Guardi­ola’s big-spend­ing City.

“Watch­ing him, [you see] his passion and how much he cares about the game,” Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain, nick­named ‘The Ox’, told the Liver­pool web­site.

“The thing that stood out for me was his re­la­tion­ship with the play­ers, how close he seems to bond with the play­ers on and off the field.

“That’s mas­sive and it’s def­i­nitely a big plus when you’re look­ing to progress, hav­ing that re­la­tion­ship with the man­ager.

“And then ob­vi­ously the way his teams play. That’s def­i­nitely in­spi­ra­tional for me and was one of the in­stru­men­tal [rea­sons] — if not the main rea­son — that I felt this place was def­i­nitely the place for me.”

Seal­ing a move for Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain was one of two key pieces of dead­line-day busi­ness for Liver­pool, the other of which was re­tain­ing the ser­vices of Philippe Coutinho.

Coutinho sub­mit­ted a trans­fer re­quest on the eve of the sea­son in the hope of join­ing Barcelona, but Liver­pool re­buffed three big-money bids from the Cata­lan gi­ants.

Hav­ing re­turned to ac­tion for Brazil dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break fol­low­ing a spell on the side­lines with a back in­jury, Coutinho could make his re­turn to ac­tion at the Eti­had Sta­dium.

But while own­ers Fen­way Sports Group were adamant that Coutinho would not be sold at any cost, Liver­pool have not missed him in the sea­son to date.

A 4-0 thrash­ing of Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain’s Ar­se­nal on their last out­ing left them sec­ond in the ta­ble be­hind Manch­ester United and they beat Hof­fen­heim 6-3 over two legs to se­cure a Cham­pi­ons League group-phase berth.

City are level on points in fourth place, but they are yet to hit top gear.

They could only draw 1-1 with Ever­ton in their first home game and needed a scruffy 97th-minute goal from Ra­heem Ster­ling to snatch a 2-1 vic­tory at Bournemout­h.

Ster­ling’s sub­se­quent dis­missal, af­ter he was shown a sec­ond yel­low card for run­ning into the crowd in cel­e­bra­tion, means he will miss the re­union with his former club.

But right-back Kyle Walker re­turns af­ter com­plet­ing a one-match sus­pen­sion for his red card on his home de­but against Ever­ton.

De­spite spend­ing £221 mil­lion on new play­ers in the trans­fer win­dow — more than any other club in Europe — City tasted dis­ap­point­ment on dead­line day af­ter miss­ing out on a move for Alexis Sanchez.

Mean­while, Arsene Wenger said Sanchez has the men­tal­ity to de­liver for Ar­se­nal de­spite suf­fer­ing the dis­ap­point­ment of an aborted trans­fer to Manch­ester City.

Wenger be­lieves Sanchez is in the right men­tal state to re­spond pos­i­tively for Ar­se­nal as they pre­pare to take on Bournemout­h to­day fol­low­ing a 4-0 drub­bing at Liver­pool.

“I have no doubt about Alexis’ mind and men­tal­ity,” he said. “Peo­ple ques­tion and he needs to come back to full fit­ness, not what he was at Liver­pool.

“It was his first game. He had a neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence with Chile and will be back quickly to his best.”

Liver­pool’s new sign­ing Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain dur­ing a re­cent match for Eng­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.