Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to be patient - Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must be patient as he continues his return to full fitness.

The England international made his first Premier League start for 16 months against his old club Southampton on Saturday.

It was just his fifth appearance for the Reds since suffering a knee ligament injury in a Champions League semi-final against Roma in April 2018.

Another one of his former clubs, Arsenal, lie in wait on Saturday and the 26-year-old is believed to be desperate to start the game at Anfield.

Klopp, however, has urged patience and insists he will not take any risks with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness.

“He needs to be patient in the right way, and everything will be fine 100 per cent,” Klopp said. “We only talk about Ox because everybody knows how good he is.

“We need to make sure that he can show that on the pitch as well. When I make the decision that he is now ready then it is my responsibility of course, and the boy only has to try to do his best. That’s what Ox obviously did.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain also started Liverpool’s Super Cup clash with Chelsea in Istanbul last week, but lasted just 45 minutes before being replaced by Roberto Firmino.

Klopp played down the significance of the midfielder’s early withdrawal, again highlighting his desire to be patient with his return to regular first-team action.

“What did I say to Ox after the game in Istanbul? Nothing. It’s a completely normal situation,” he added.

“He had a difficult game and we have a sensational offensive option on the bench, so I thought it made sense to use that. That was all, nothing else. With Ox, with patience in the right way, everything should be fine.”

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The Reds currently top the early Premier League table with two wins from two matches so far.

They thrashed Norwich 4-1 in their season opener at Anfield before their 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday.

They also beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the Super Cup following a 2-2 draw in Istanbul, a result which will have gone a long way to erase the disappointment of their shootout defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley at the start of the month.