Jurgen Klopp has explained why he had to take Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain off for Liverpool in their latest friendly, before looking ahead to his options for the start of the season.
Liverpool picked up their first win of pre-season by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in Singapore on Friday. Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah were the goalscorers in either half. It brought a successful end to the South East Asian part of their pre-season tour.
One disappointing factor for Liverpool, though, was an injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The midfielder was withdrawn just before half-time.
Jurgen Klopp has cited hamstring pain as the reason for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s early exit. But he is still backing the ex-Arsenal man to make an impact.
He said at a post-match press conference: “Of course it’s very disappointing for us because Oxlade trained all the time really well since the pre-season started.
“It happened obviously with Ox in the past when it gets more intense and something can happen. Now this is just a muscle thing and that’s OK. We had worse situations, so I’m OK with it.
“I don’t know exactly how long it will take but he will be back and then it’s all fine. He is obviously a top-class player and he can help us.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury concern is not the only one Liverpool are dealing with now. Before the game against Palace, Klopp explained there were three absentees – although he only treated two as concerns.
Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez and Alisson Becker all missed the match. Although the Gomez omission was merely precautionary, he could have worries about the others.
“Diogo is a concern. With Diogo it’s a muscle again,” he told Liverpoolfc.com before kick-off.
“Joe, no. Joe is just a precaution and not any kind of risk-taking is worth it. He is really good in the pre-season so far; he felt a little bit here and there so we said, ‘OK, then he is out.’
“Ali is not cool as well; it will not be too long but each day Ali is not involved is already too long, to be honest.”
In Alisson’s absence, Adrian is Liverpool’s only option in goal due to an issue for Caoimhin Kelleher.
Jurgen Klopp expects Jota to miss start of season
Providing an update after the game, Klopp suggested Alisson could play in the Community Shield against Manchester City on July 30th. However, Jota will not be able to.
“Ali, I think, has the chance for City and Diogo not,” Klopp relayed.
“Ali, he feels a muscle, abdominal. It’s nothing serious but, again, we prepare a full season. So he can train but just not like before, so he should not play in the moment. Not normal goalie training but he has a pre-season, so he doesn’t lose time.
“But yeah, these kind of things happen. The boys have to travel a lot and train and you never know exactly.
“It’s only little things, nothing serious but we have to be careful because the rest of the season is much longer than the start.”
The squad will now fly back to base at Merseyside. For the next stage of pre-season, Liverpool will be in Germany to be hosted by RB Leipzig on July 21st.