Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has named two current England teammates and Kevin De Bruyne among those he admires in his position.
The 26-year-old Liverpool midfielder is looking to get a promising career back on track after spending the majority of last season recovering from a serious knee injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been used sparingly by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp this season, having to date played 121 minutes of Premier League football. But this was enough for him to earn a Three Lions recall.
His last appearance came in the 1-1 draw with Italy on March 27, 2018 since then national team coach Gareth Southgate has seen his side evolve with the addition of new faces including Chelsea’s youngster Mason Mount, whom Oxlade-Chamberlain has admired from afar.
Mount’s clubmate Ross Barkley is another highly thought of by Oxlade-Chamberlain, who cites the league’s ‘assist king’ De Bruyne as a reference, too. The City midfielder also saw his previous season disrupted by injury but has so far created the most chances (16) in the Premier League for 2019/20.
A versatile individual, the Portsmouth-born footballer has played in a multitude of roles, notably as a wing-back at former club Arsenal, but it’s in the centre of the park where he feels most comfortable.
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“[The No.8 role] is where I was finding my feet with Liverpool and England. The way we play at the club and here is not too dissimilar,” he told the Times.
Asked about the midfielders he admires, Oxlade-Chamberlain added: “There are a lot. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a good goal against Man City in the Champions League and I’ve watched that clip a lot! Hendo [Jordan Henderson] has stepped forward into a more advanced role [at Liverpool] and he’s doing it really well. It has brought a sense of life out of him, a sort of energetic pulse.
“[Andrés] Iniesta, historically, would be in the eight [role] picking up the ball, running, picking passes and scoring.
“Steven Gerrard would have been my ideal midfield general, growing up. It’s a bit more specific now, but Kevin De Bruyne does it really, really well.
“I really like what Mason Mount has been doing. Ross Barkley, as well, can do it really well.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain set for comeback season with Liverpool? Five key things to know…
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal in 2017 for a reported £35m.
- He’d make 45 appearances, registering five goals and eight assists, in his first season before sustaining a knee injury against AS Roma.
- It resulted in him missing the 2018 World Cup finals.
- Oxlade-Chamberlain returned in the Reds’ 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Anfield last season.
- He’s since made five appearances in all competitions this campaign.