The announcement that Liverpool have agreed a £40 million deal to sign England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on a five-year deal from Arsenal answers one of the final questions that was hanging over the last days of the transfer window.
But for Liverpool fans, it raises a new one that will only be answered with certainty as the season properly gets underway when the dust settles on all the comings and goings – and that is where the 24 year old will fit into the side and just how he will stack up against the other midfielders at Anfield?
This year’s transfer window seems to have been more chaotic and memorable than any that has come before, but perhaps that was all down to the Neymar and PSG saga that got the whole carnival rolling. Either way, there have been plenty of high profile moves, and the best UK football betting sites have been monitoring them all.
Even back in January, they correctly predicted not only where he would go, but for how much. Proof that if you want to know what is likely to happen in the world of sport, the best person to ask is a bookmaker!
Oxlade-Chamberlain in good company
Liverpool’s newest recruit will be joining a team that has no shortage of talented midfielders, and £40 million price tag or not, it is certainly no foregone conclusion that he will outshine them all.
Perhaps the best known is Philippe Coutinho, although it is still no foregone conclusion that he will remain at Anfield. Barcelona are keen to sign him, and an eleventh hour deal is very much a possibility. The view from the bookies? They think it will happen, and recently cut the odds of a move to 1/4.
If they are correct, Oxlade-Chamberlain will slot neatly into the midfield alongside Lallana, Wjnaldum and Henderson. Let’s take a little look at each in more detail.
Liverpool’s skipper has a solid record and has played the same amount of internationals as Oxlade-Chamberlain. Their pass accuracies over the past season have been almost identical at 82.5 percent.
Lallana has a similar number of internationals under his belt, but being five years older, there will be the view that Oxlade Henderson has time on his side and the greater potential. Lallana will be determined to prove such theories wrong, and they might just bring out the best in each other.
The gritty Dutch player is a perfect foil for Oxlade-Chamberlain. He actually has a superior pass accuracy to the rest of the midfielders, at more than 85 percent, along with a reputation for scoring pressure goals when they matter.
Set for success
Of course, this is only the probable lineup. If Coutinho remains, he will be certain to feature, and there is also the possibility that Emre Can might move up from the defence. One thing is sure, there is depth and talent with the potential to take Liverpool all the way this year.