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Arsenal legend Henry: Oxlade-Chamberlain showing his purpose at Liverpool

Thierry Henry believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is finally showing potential of the player he can one day become.

Arsenal legend Henry was critical of Oxlade-Chamberlain's purpose while he was at the Emirates, which stemmed from his lack of one solid position.

The Englishman moved to Liverpool in the summer and is currently in a rich vein of form operating as a central midfielder.

"Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves praise for what he's done during his short time at Liverpool so far," Henry wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

"But we didn't see that clearly at Arsenal. My point is if I use the example of Frank Lampard, everybody knew what he was good at. His forte was running from deep - making late runs into the box and scoring goals. And also giving plenty of assists.

"At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain's best position is. One day he was a wing back, one day he was a left winger, one day a right winger and on another a number 10. That was the problem, we just didn't know.

"It's so difficult to find out who you are and what you are good at if you don't have a run of games in a settled position.

"It's really difficult to get your momentum going and the stats back that up. In 132 games for Arsenal in the Premier League he only scored nine goals and got 14 assists but for Liverpool, he already has three goals and five assists.

"For Liverpool, we are now seeing a midfielder that puts the pressure on the opposition at every opportunity, he wins the ball back, he scores goals and also gives assists. Now we can see clearly what type of player he is.

"The goal he scored against Manchester City in January is the example. He's in a team that likes to put pressure on, he got the ball back, drove forward, produced a brilliant strike and scored. The other day against Newcastle he won the ball back and gave it to Mohamed Salah, who scored.

"We can now see clarity in his game and in what he's being asked to do. That is what he is showing right now.

"All credit must go to Jurgen Klopp and Oxlade-Chamberlain himself.

"Clarity has helped him because he now knows what he has to do. To have consistency you need to play regularly and play in the same position more often than not. Oxlade-Chamberlain said himself that's why he moved to Liverpool and full credit to him, he's backing those words up with some really efficient performances.

"You also have to give Klopp a lot of credit because it's not only Oxlade-Chamberlain. You can talk about Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and a lot of players that adapt with Klopp.

"More often than not Klopp uses him in central midfield because of Liverpool's amazing front three. Oxlade-Chamberlain knows where he is playing and what he has to do week in, week out.

"We can now see the player he can become at Liverpool. The potential was always there. Now, he is playing magnificently well. If he continues at his current ratio of goals and assists, he will go past the ratio he achieved at Arsenal so easily.

"He is a different player from the one we saw at the Gunners and the Arsenal fans would have loved to have seen this Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates Stadium."

About the author

Freddie Taylor

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