Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders has revealed how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in pre-season training in Austria.
The Reds are on the outskirts of Salzburg as they prepare for the 2020/21 season. England’s Jordan Henderson and Brazilians Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho remain big-name absentees. However, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane still form a strong group.
Meanwhile, midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player with a point to prove ahead of next season.
The 27-year-old struggled for game time last season after missing the first three months with a knee injury. Indeed, time on the sidelines has held him back at Anfield, amid flashes of form.
As such, he heads into the new campaign firstly looking to avoid injury – which he failed to do last pre-season. From there, he will look to play a greater role, with Georginio Wijnaldum’s exit making room in midfield.
According to assistant boss Lijnders, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a strong start to pre-season.
“We had a big focus on our set-pieces this morning,” the coach told Liverpool’s official website on Friday.
“In these training camps, it’s about not only about going back to basics, but also about putting in new ideas and make steps to evolve and become better.
“I also have to highlight that Ox has scored some absolute worldies in training in these last few days – and you absolutely love to see it!”
Offering a look-in into Liverpool’s pre-season camp, Lijnders also revealed how the older members of the squad are helping those at the start of their careers.
Lijnders reveals Salah, Elliott chat
“Yesterday, I also heard a story that Mo [Salah] and Harvey Elliott were sitting with each other in the dining area,” Lijnders said.
“Harvey had some bread and some fruit on his plate and Mo asked him how many slices of bread he’d already had that day.
“Harvey said one and Mo told him to only eat the fruit! Harvey told me, ‘I’m always learning from these guys!’
“We have so many players who are helping the younger players and the new ones – you feel all the way through this camp that the talents are integrating, and I like that a lot.”
Liverpool kick off their Premier League season against Norwich on August 14.
Before then, they face a crucial few weeks of the summer transfer window. Marko Grujic – who has transfer interest from Porto and Sassuolo – could leave.
What’s more, Liverpool reportedly feel ‘determined’ to sell Harry Wilson and he has a Premier League suitor.