Former Arsenal favourite Santi Cazorla has offered advice to Liverpool’s injured star and former team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Liverpool midfielder is currently out for an extended period of time due to a serious knee injury. He is expected to miss the entire season after suffering multiple ligament damage in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final against Roma.
Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla went through his own nightmare following an Achilles injury that also saw some serious setbacks on the road to recovery.
It took the former Arsenal man the best part of two years to recover and despite no longer plying his trade in England, having joined Villarreal this summer, he still tracks the progress of Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“I’m following him, watching his videos, seeing his progress,” said Cazorla to the Guardian.
“It came at a time when he was playing very well, he missed the Champions League final, Liverpool are [looking likely to] produce a great season now, there was the World Cup. That’s very complicated.”
The Spanish midfielder offered advise saying that the hardest part of recovery is conquering the mental side of missing so much football and trying to stay positive.
“When there are people who have long-term injuries, I try to make them see that: that a lot is in your head. I’ve been through it, I’ve had moments when I couldn’t control my head and I wanted to throw in the towel.
“[Injured players] have to try to help each other out and be able to offer that perspective that comes of having been through it. He’s a strong person and I am sure he will be back. He seems to be making progress.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain had failed to nail down first team football at Arsenal and so opted to join Liverpool in a £40m move last August. After a slow start, the England man became an important player in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time as the player missed the Champions League final as well as the World Cup in Russia but having support from fellow professionals is important according to Cazorla.
The Spaniard revealed he had lost of supportive messages from players that helped him through his time on the side-lines.
“People like Iniesta, [David] Silva, Mata, Iker [Casillas] … they sent me messages. To know that you have them at your side, that they’re thinking about you. I’m eternally grateful because loads of people have sent me messages.”
Liverpool have made a great start to the new season, winning all four of their opening matches. They face Tottenham next as they look to make it five wins from five.