By James Miller – @JimmyMiller2608
The upcoming 2019/20 Premier League campaign will see Jurgen Klopp’s Reds continue the long-running quest for a first league title since 1990.
Last season will almost certainly leave a bitter taste for Klopp and his staff after his side missed out on taking the trophy by very fine margins, despite a record-breaking points haul.
Regardless of the added pressure that has been placed on the German’s shoulders to once again battle on both fronts, for both the Champions League and Premier League, there have certainly been no signs of panic this summer.
Amongst the madness of the modern-day market and the continuous rise of astronomical transfer fees, the club have maintained a solid approach in preparation for the upcoming challenges that lie ahead. At present, the Reds have moved only for highly-rated prospect Sepp van den Berg with an affordable deal which could potentially rise to £4.4million at its highest.
Throughout the market Klopp has, on numerous occasions, reinforced the feeling that this particular transfer window will not be the most exciting the fans have seen in recent times, often alluding to the fact that the first team squad will be boosted by the return of long-absent players anyway.
One of those returning stars is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who the German brought in from top six rivals Arsenal on Deadline Day in 2017.
Prior to the Ox’s arrival, expectations surrounding his potential at the club were somewhat mixed, with his Arsenal career very much a story of unfulfilled potential. It could be argued that there may have been many different factors as to why he never quite reached the highest level whilst at the Gunners.
An unsettled foundation at the club may have impacted his performances but, in truth, he never really seemed settled occupying a role on the wing. After securing a move to Anfield, it was quickly made clear that he had been promised a more central role at the club, something which hadn’t been frequently provided at the Emirates.
Initially, it was hard to see how he would maintain a position in the middle of the park for the Reds, especially with a host of quality players to compete alongside. However, he soon made it clear to see how influential he can be when trusted with such a role.
In his first season as a Red, Oxlade-Chamberlain lit up Anfield on more than one occasion – most notably though against Manchester City, in what was another magical European night.
Sadly, an injury sustained against Roma in the following round forced him to watch the vast majority of the season from the sidelines. It is evident that Klopp enjoys have him around the squad, also making it clear of his admiration for the talent Oxlade-Chamberlain possesses.
Although, it’s not only the gaffer who appears happy at the prospect of Ox’s return. Speaking with Sky Sports Georginio Wijnaldum was very complimentary of his midfield counterpart. Captain Jordan Henderson also had kind words for his compatriot at a press conference on the Reds’ tour of the US.
The midfield man has been branded as ‘like a new signing’ and it certainly feels like he maybe be able to leave a lasting impression for the upcoming season. His energetic, creative nature was often missed last season. It might just make the difference this time around.