Jurgen Klopp’s relationship with his players and the Liverpool manager’s record of improving his teams persuaded Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to move to Anfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the Reds from Arsenal on transfer deadline day in a deal reported to be worth £35million, while on international duty with England.
And the versatile midfielder, who could make his Premier League debut for Liverpool at Manchester City on Saturday, cannot wait to start working with Klopp.
“Even as a neutral watching him last season, you [could see] he’s a really interesting character and someone that seems very inspiring for people that aren’t even involved in the club,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the Liverpool website. “Watching him, [you see] his passion and how much he cares about the game.
“The thing that stood out for me was his relationship with the players, how close he seems to bond with the players on and off the field. That’s massive and it’s definitely a big plus when you’re looking to progress, having that relationship with the manager, that definitely helps.
“And then obviously the way his teams play, that’s definitely inspirational for me and was one of the instrumental [reasons] – if not the main reason – that I felt this place was definitely the place for me.”
— Alex Ox-Chamberlain (@Alex_OxChambo) August 31, 2017
Klopp revealed when Oxlade-Chamberlain completed his move to Liverpool that he has been keeping tabs on the player since 2014 and the England international has also watched the German’s progress from afar.
“Even when he was at Borussia Dortmund, you see these things from the outside when you look at managers and the way they work,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“He’s definitely a manager that’s very animated on the side and you sort of feel like you get to know him without even knowing him when you listen to him in his press conferences – and then the insights I’ve had from the boys on him.
“First of all, what he’s achieved, you respect that straight away and how much he knows about the game, and then all his extra attributes – his relationships with the players and how he pushes you, encourages you and what he demands from you – that’s like a bonus. That’s what makes him special in my eyes.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 6, 2017
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s career appeared to have stagnated at Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger seemingly unsure of how best to use the 24-year-old, who thinks his Liverpool move will be a boost to his development.
“Yeah, definitely,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said when asked if Klopp will improve his game. “That’s one of the reasons why I felt like he was the man I’d want to come and play for because I feel like he could really push me and hopefully get the best out of me and take me to the next level.”
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