Football

Huge Boost For Liverpool As Oxlade-Chamberlain Takes Step Towards Return

Huge Boost For Liverpool As Oxlade-Chamberlain Takes Step Towards Return

Ten months after limping out of Liverpool's Champions League semi-final tie with Roma, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set to make a dramatic return to the Liverpool side, in time for a full-on assault for Premier League and Champions League glory.

'The Ox' played a pivotal role for Jurgen Klopp at the heart of the Reds midfield last season before rupturing knee ligaments in the incredible 5-2 victory over the Italian side at Anfield last April.

Initial forecasts of the England international's injury had some fans fearing the former Arsenal man would be sidelined for up to a year and a half, but having been added to the Champions League squad ahead of this month's last 16 clashes against Bayern Munich, it seems the midfielder is well ahead of schedule for a return to action.

Last year's finalists were permitted to alter up to three players on their eligibility list for the latter stages of this season's tournament, with Oxlade-Chamberlain pencilled in alongside teenage Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever. Out go Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke, who both sealed moves to Bournemouth during the transfer window, with Clyne moving to the Vitality Stadium initially on-loan.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was able to take part in Liverpool's warm weather training camp in Dubai recently, with Klopp confirming in his press conference prior to last weeks game with Leicester City that everything had gone well.

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It was one little session. It was good.

And whilst there is no indication that Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line for an imminent return, fans will certainly welcome the return of a player that proved somewhat of a talisman in their run to the Champions League final last season, scoring a scorcher in the quarter-final against Manchester City.

Klopp's charges have struggled of late with injuries as they chase trophies on two fronts. Captain Jordan Henderson and Gigi Wijnaldum missed out on last night's 1-1 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium, with both remaining doubts for this weekend's tie against the aforementioned Cherries, whilst defenders Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are looking at more long-term absences.

Liverpool are three points clear at the top of the Premier League, having missed out on the opportunity to lengthen the gap to Man City in second place, after two consecutive draws.

Pep Guardiola takes his team to Merseyside on Wednesday to face Everton, knowing that a victory will see them leap-frog the leaders.

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Aaron Strain

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