Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to provide cover for Naby Keita during the closing stages of the season.
The German revealed that Keita will be out for at least two months with a torn adductor muscle but when asked if Oxlade-Chamberlain could fill the void:
“[It is] very good Ox is there, for sure [he will be] in the squad and we have to make a decision who starts. We will use him of course, that’s good. Nothing good to say about Naby’s injury, but that Ox is back is brilliant.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain will need to be eased back into things considering the fact he has been out for a year, but his dynamism in midfield would make him an ideal replacement.
Whether Klopp will choose to start him tomorrow against Newcastle, it does seem unlikely, but some rotation will be needed from the team that lost to Barcelona on Wednesday.
Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho played most of the match in the Camp Nou so Oxlade-Chamberlain remains the likeliest change if Klopp wants to freshen things up.
The 25-year-old’s last start for the club came when he ruptured his cruciate knee ligament against Roma last year.