LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a “difference maker” in the team, after a question was posed about the likelihood of the midfielder reaching his previous heights again at Liverpool.
“In training, what Ox did so far, you see his quality immediately, immediately,” Klopp said on the club website ahead of today’s Premier League trip to Fulham.
“He is a difference maker, you can see that. Being in the best moment of your career and being compared with that after coming back from an injury, that’s a really dumb thing to do.
“Ox is an outstanding player, an outstanding player. He was always and will always be.”
The 27-year-old Englishman has not featured this season due to a knee issue but Klopp was boosted by his return to training this week.
The Reds boss added that goalkeeper Alisson Becker has also resumed training after a hamstring injury and could return today.
Alisson has not played since Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Brighton last month and Klopp said the Brazilian was close to full fitness.
However, the good news was balanced with some less appetising updates, with Klopp confirming that he was waiting to hear about the seriousness of knocks suffered by Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota during the midweek 1-1 Champions League draw at Midtjylland.
Liverpool are second in the league behind Tottenham on goal difference and host Jose Mourinho’s side next week after the clash against 17th-placed Fulham.
“I hope none of our players will think about Tottenham when we’re at Fulham,” Klopp said.
“Fulham are a really good side and the performances they’ve shown have all not been rewarded with results. Since Scott Parker took over there, there’s been constant development. He’s doing a good job, I respect that.”
The German also reiterated that he believes the need for VAR (video assistant referee) has made the game less enjoyable, after Liverpool were involved in three lengthy stoppages against Midtjylland.
“We stop celebrating goals, we wait constantly, we have less than millimetre offside decisions. A lot of things are not like they were before, that’s the truth,” he said.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
FULHAM V LIVERPOOL
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