Summer signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can play in "a few positions" for Liverpool says Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp praised Liverpool's new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of the midfielder's potential debut against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

Summer signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can play in "a few positions" for Liverpool says Jürgen Klopp
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Jürgen Klopp believes "very good footballer" Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is capable of playing in a variety of positions and roles for Liverpool.

The £35 million deadline day addition from Arsenal returned from England duty in mid-week to train with his new teammates for the first time at the club's Melwood training ground.

Midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain could even make his debut this Saturday as the Reds travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in a clash of Premier League heavyweights. 

And Klopp is confident both that the summer signing can fulfil a number of duties for Liverpool and that the depth of his squad is good enough to maintain a quality starting eleven all season.

Previewing the Reds' clash with City, Klopp said there are "a few positions" in which Oxlade-Chamberlain fits into his line-up, adding: "He's a very good football player, that helps a lot."

The German hailed how the 24-year-old is "good in small spaces" and "really good in big spaces" while he is also a "good dribbler" and "good passer." 

Klopp said that there are "a lot of things" about Oxlade-Chamberlain that he really likes, which means he wants to have him "on the pitch as often as possible."

He continued: "He fits really well in the squad and that means he immediately fits really well in different line-ups. It is not fixed for the next seven or eight months, but in the system we play at the moment he can play four positions - both No.8s and both wings, that's how it is. We play in a specific way and we want to use him in these positions."

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Reds must be careful with Woodburn's emergence, warns Klopp

Klopp was also full of praise for Ben Woodburn, returning from international duty with Wales in which he cemented his ever-growing potential with a pair of excellent cameos.

The 17-year-old made his debut against Austria, scoring the winner from 20 yards out just five minutes after coming on, before helping force the breakthrough against Moldova days later as the Dragons gave their hopes 2018 World Cup qualification new life.

Woodburn, who made nine first-team appearances for Liverpool and became the club's youngest goalscorer by netting on his senior debut, said that he "saw the games" and that the teenager had a "a really big impact."

"I'm really, really happy for him and for Wales that they have this wonderful talent that they have in their squad," Klopp continued, noting that in the post-match interviews Woodburn's eyes showed "that he was really happy."

He called it "the best news" that the club can get that Woodburn is a Liverpool player, calling it "important" that they "try to protect him."

Klopp says that the Chester-born attacker is "not only a good football player" but also "a very good and smart person", adding: "What we have to give him is education, training and opportunity to play."

Klopp acknowledged the "stories of outstandingly skilled boys" whose situations "change", usually "because of impatience", noting that he has "50 per-cent responsibility" in Woodburn's development.

He added: "We know what our responsibility is, and we are really ready to live with it and help him. But that doesn’t mean that he cannot start now, or tomorrow. Yes he can."

Klopp revealed that Woodburn actually wasn't "in the best shape" upon his return to pre-season earlier in the summer but dismissed it as something that happens at an early age.

Yet the manager hailed that "even when he's not physically in the best shape he's still hard-working" and that in recent weeks "everything came back" and he "played brilliant football."

"He's very football-smart, and we are happy to have him and to help him in each part of his development," he said.