The key attributes he had to filter at the Emirates – taking players on, opening up opponents, shooting – are the ones encouraged by Jurgen Klopp.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was desperate to get “out of his comfort zone” at Arsenal, helped Liverpool’s gold dust – a player that has captained the side, one approaching five years at Anfield – to sidestep an uncomfortable situation.
The timing of the midfielder’s all-round delivery on Sunday was impeccable considering the next fixture for the Merseysiders. On Friday, he will return to the Emirates as an opposing player for the first time since taking the “hardest decision” to depart in the summer in order to “make big strides forward.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain, his own biggest critic, is the first to admit his six years under Arsene Wenger failed to paint a comprehensive picture of what he could offer.
Moreover, as Arsenal prefer a more technical than aggressive approach, ‘Ox’ had to dilute his key strengths to bow to their stylistic methodology. He detailed as much four years ago in a feature for the club’s official website. “I’ve grown up playing in central midfield more, and I think my natural game is about coming inside from wide,” the Southampton academy graduate noted.