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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has insisted to the London Evening Standard that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not gone backwards over the past year.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has failed to nail down a starting place in Liverpool’s side this term, with the England international only proving to be a rotational option. 

Oxlade-Chamberlain actually started in Liverpool’s last game against Aston Villa, but he failed to impress before being substituted.

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Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation: Trailer – BBC
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Klopp doesn’t feel that performance represents a downturn in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability though, and he insists that the 26-year-old is every bit as good as he once was.

“Oxlade-Chamberlain, if he’s not in your first XI, he played incredible games for this club, he won pretty much alone against City a year or so ago,” Klopp said. 

“He’s not a worse footballer since then, it’s just not easy always to be there.

“I cannot judge the players because of a game in which the whole team is not performing great. I see them in training and I know that they are more than options for me.” 

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“Oxlade-Chamberlain, if he’s not in your first XI, he played incredible games for this club, he won pretty much alone against City a year or so ago.

“He’s not a worse footballer since then, it’s just not easy always to be there.

“I cannot judge the players because of a game in which the whole team is not performing great. I see them in training and I know that they are more than options for me.”  

Oxlade-Chamberlain has played 38 times for Liverpool across all competitions, but many of those appearances have come as a substitute.

The former Arsenal man has started just 14 times in the Premier League, with Klopp seemingly favouring other options in midfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s task of breaking into Liverpool’s line-up is only becoming harder too, as Naby Keita has caught the eye in recent weeks through his form.

Liverpool are next in action this evening against Brighton & Hove Albion, and it will be interesting to see if Oxlade-Chamberlain is given the nod to start. 

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