Jurgen Klopp has described Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s form as “by far the best” of his Liverpool career and insisted he had no qualms about the midfielder’s contract status.
The 28-year-old made his 20th appearance this season in Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle in the Premier League on Thursday after gaining much-needed playing time to re-establish himself in a midfield struggling with injury problems. Oxlade-Chamberlain shone for Liverpool before suffering a horrific knee injury in the Champions League semi-final against Roma in April 2018, but Klopp believes the player’s tweaks to his game have improved his overall contribution.
“He’s pretty much Oxlade’s best since I’ve been here,” said the Liverpool boss. “I know he was more exciting in the moments, he scored great goals against him [Manchester] City and really good goals for us, but it’s a whole new feature now – cool down the game, not just feuding with the ball or shooting but being involved in all things on the pitch. It’s a huge step. I’m really happy with Ox at the moment and I hope it stays that way.”
The England international’s contract will expire at the end of next season and was linked with a move in January, although Klopp insists a decision on whether to pay money or offer an extension is not a priority at the moment.
“I think it’s a completely normal situation,” he said. “It’s about what makes sense for both sides in six or 18 months or whatever. But it’s not important at all at the moment. At the moment, the important thing is how do you contribute when you play? That’s the only thing.
“We won’t be together forever. That’s the way it works. If someone wants to go somewhere else, we have to find a solution to that. If we want to find someone from another team, we have to find a solution to that — all of these things. But it has nothing to do now. It’s how you play at the moment and then you’re in the starting line-up.
“If your contract expires in two days, four months or five years, it will not make any difference at all. All the players are important because they can really contribute the moment they start or when they come in, which is why they are players at Liverpool.”