Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signs new Liverpool contract

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signs new contract with Liverpool
Image: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first Premier League start since April 2018 against Southampton on Saturday

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract.

Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Anfield from Arsenal on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2017 and played a major role in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final that season, scoring in a 3-0 quarter-final first-leg win against Manchester City.

But a serious knee injury in the semi-final first leg against Roma sidelined the midfielder for a year, with Oxlade-Chamberlain making just two substitute appearances at the end of last season before stepping up his return this term.

"I'm really, really excited - it's been in the pipeline for a little while, so it's nice to finally get it done and just extend my time here, which I am really looking forward to," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it's really exciting for me to be able to sign. It's something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time - and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year."

"You've got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don't get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day. I am really excited to be able to extend my time here."

Jurgen Klopp celebrates the 3-0 victory over Bournemouth with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Image: Jurgen Klopp hopes Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury problems are now behind him

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to the midfielder's attitude during his recovery period.

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"We all know Alex's story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character," he said.

"That's why none of us were ever in any doubt about him fighting his way back in the way he did. To see him play almost the whole game at Southampton on Saturday was such a positive moment for all of us, especially him.

"Now he is no longer injured, he is fit and he can kick on and show once again just how good he is. But there is still a lot of hard work on that road."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring Liverpool's second goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Manchester City
Image: Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates his stunning goal against Man City

Why have Liverpool given Ox a new deal?

Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest player to offer his long-term commitment to Liverpool, with the club keen to secure the futures of the core of the squad that led the club to back-to-back Champions League finals.

Liverpool's front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have all signed new deals in the last 13 months, while captain Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson have also signed new contracts.

With James Milner's contract running until the end of the season and Georginio Wijnaldum's contract up in the summer of 2021, the versatile Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set to re-establish himself as a key player for Liverpool in the coming season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Liverpool training
Image: Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 47 appearances in his Liverpool career to date

'Ox gives Liverpool something different'

Sky Sports News pundit Danny Higginbotham believes Oxlade-Chamberlain has a vital role to play for Liverpool going forward.

"It will take a bit of time for him to get back up to speed again but he's an important player for Liverpool and can give them something different," Higginbotham said.

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"Roberto Firmino creates a lot of problems for center-backs. He drags them out and that leaves space in behind. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, before he got his injury and missed a lot of time, was taking that space up.

"I'm not comparing him to Philippe Coutinho but it's similar to what Philippe Coutinho was doing at Liverpool to a certain extent, getting beyond the midfield with players in front of him.

"That's what Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is capable of. There is no doubting the talent he has. You can see from his touch maps that spaces have been created for him to get into."

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