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Jurgen Klopp 'Absolutely Delighted' with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's New Deal

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - AUGUST 14:  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool  in action during the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Vodafone Park on August 14, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is "absolutely delighted" Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has penned a new long-term contract at Liverpool. 

The 26-year-old joined Liverpool from Arsenal in 2017, but last term he played just 19 minutes in the Premier League because of a serious knee injury.

Already in 2019-20, though, he has started two matches for the Reds: the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea and Saturday's Premier League victory over Southampton.

Klopp has said how impressed he has been with Oxlade-Chamberlain's attitude during his injury problems and explained his delight at the Englishman's commitment to Liverpool, per James Carroll of the club's official website:

"When I heard Ox had signed his new contract with us, I am sure my emotions were the same as every Liverpool fan hearing the news tonight – absolutely delighted. This is because an absolutely outstanding player and person has shown his belief and commitment to our project here and it’s a deal I think makes sense on both sides.

“I think Ox has said himself it feels to him like he has been here a lot longer than he actually has and that is something I would agree with. I think that’s down to his personality around the place here at Melwood. I have said in the past, one of the best things about him is what an outstanding human being he is, one of the nicest guys you will meet. Of course, he is also an outstandingly talented footballer, too.

"We all know Alex’s story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character."

The German manager added it "would mean a lot to me" to hear Oxlade-Chamberlain's name being sung at Anfield in the 2019-20 campaign.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said before the start of the new season that his compatriot is "like a new signing" for the European champions after his return from injury. 

He could have a big role to play in the 2019-20 season if he can stay fit, especially given Liverpool made no key outfield additions to the squad in the summer. 

Liverpool achieved a club-record points tally of 97 in the English top flight last season and lost just one game, but they still finished just behind champions Manchester City:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Liverpool are the first team in top-flight history to lose just one game and not win the title. No other side has won as many as 30 games and reached 97 points and failed to lift the trophy. Watch #MOTD 👉 https://t.co/BZoVsqpaEK https://t.co/vfWgXhIr6d

Given the quality of Pep Guardiola's Sky Blues, the Reds will likely need to be similarly immaculate this season if they are to break their league title drought, which stands at 29 years.

Liverpool and City's first teams are both superb, but the Manchester outfit boast the stronger squad, which is always likely to give them an edge over a season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's return could help Liverpool redress that balance, not least because he can play in multiple roles.

He is able to play on either flank, so he could act as cover for the likes of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah if necessary, but he is most effective providing attacking impetus from the middle of the park:

James Pearce @JamesPearceLFC

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance was a massive plus for #LFC today. Looked so much more comfortable playing centrally than out on the left.

In his debut Premier League campaign with Liverpool in 2017-18, Oxlade-Chamberlain netted three goals and provided seven assists, a better combined return than he ever achieved at Arsenal.

If he can be similarly effective in 2019-20, he will be a big asset for the Reds, and penning a new deal should be a boost for the midfielder at the start of the new season.