Liverpool wrapped up one of the most eye-catching transfers of the summer window on deadline day by capturing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal in a £35million move.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was expected to join Chelsea – where, it must be said, he could have made a fine wing-back – but turned down the move in favour of a switch to Liverpool due to a preference to play in central midfield.
The England international faces plenty of competition to break into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, especially when Naby Keita joins from RB Leipzig next summer, and we’ve compared his 2016-17 league stats to those of the Reds’ current incumbents: Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson.
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Oxlade-Chamberlain was in and out of Arsenal’s starting XI last term and was also used in various different roles, appearing as a winger, central midfielder and wing-back across the season. Over 29 appearances, the 24-year-old scored two goals and provided seven assists.
Of Lallana, Wijnaldum, Can and Henderson, only the latter scored less goals (one). However, only Wijnaldum (nine) provided more assists, with Oxlade-Chamberlain level on seven with Lallana and ahead of Henderson (four) and Can (two).
The Ox’s record of a goal or assist every 173.66 minutes last season betters that of Wijanldum (198.53), Can (338.29) and Henderson (423.6), with only Lallana’s 156.66 minutes an improvement.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lack of goals may be attributed to the fact that he only attempted an average of one shot per game last term, with Henderson (0.7) the only Liverpool midfielder to average lower.
Assist figures, meanwhile, can be slightly distorted. For example, a player can be creating plenty of chances only to see them go to waste by team-mates.
Despite registering the joint-second most assists of this group of players, only Can (one) created less chances per game than the new signing (1.1) – Lallana (1.4), Henderson (1.3) and Wijnaldum (1.2) are all an improvement, albeit by a small margin.
As a player who has often operated on the wing, Oxlade-Chamberlain is noted for his dynamism with the ball at his feet, and his dribbling statistics are encouraging.
With the former Southampton man completing 67.7% of his attempted dribbles, only Wijnaldum offered a better percentage (72.7%).
The Ox will have to improve on his ball retention, with only Can (81.6%) having a worse passing accuracy than the former Gunner’s 82.2%.
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Klopp’s midfielders have to contend with a huge workload every game with his players expected to contribute plenty in both attack and defence.
In truth, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s defensive statistics are a mixed bag.
His average 0.4 interceptions per game is the lowest among the group, with Henderson leading the way with 1.7 per game, while his 31.3% aerial duel success rate is also the lowest of the quintet – Henderson again recording the highest with 55%.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain actually recorded the best tackle success rate, winning 72.2% of his attempted tackles, with Henderson (69.8%), Can (70%), Wijnaldum (61.9%) and Lallana (55.2%) all lagging behind.
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