Ex-Anfield goalkeeper Chris Kirkland claims Arsenal were only willing to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool due to his poor injury record.
The England international arrived on the scene as a teenager with Southampton. He made the move to Arsenal in 2011, tipped to be a star of the future.
The Ox ended up making 198 appearances for the Gunners and scored 20 goals. But in six seasons at the Emirates it was felt his full potential wasn’t realised.
However, his progress was severely hampered by injuries. And Kirkland believes Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s inability to keep fit was the main reason why Arsenal were willing to sell him to a big Premier League rival.
Kirkland told FootballFanCast: “We’ve seen him score goals and obviously had some horrendous luck with injuries.
“I mean, if he was fit, Arsenal would never have sold him for one thing you know. They sold him because he couldn’t stay fit.
“But for me he’s an exceptional player and I’d love to see him stay fit.”
While the midfielder has had some great moments in a Liverpool shirt, the injuries have continued since his switch to Merseyside.
He suffered a cruciate ligament injury in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg 5-2 win over Roma. That caused him to miss the final against Real Madrid and also the World Cup finals in Russia.
The attacker also missed a large chunk of the 2018/19 season before returning late in that campaign. But he was an unused substitute in Liverpool’s victory over Spurs in the Champions League final.
Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in 30 of Liverpool’s 38 games in their title-winning season of 2019/20. He scored four times, including the final goal of the triumphant campaign.
But he’s been sidelined yet again this season with a knee injury and hasn’t kicked a ball so far.
Liverpool without top stars for Manchester City test
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of several key men missing for Liverpool’s massive trip to Manchester City on Sunday.
Virgil van Dijk is a long-term injury while Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara will also miss out.
Jurgen Klopp said in his pre-match press conference that Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho were “doing well” but stressed that neither would be available.
On Thiago, the Liverpool boss said: “The longer he is out, the longer he has to train before we consider him as a starting line-up player. Thiago will not be available for Sunday.”