After seeing his previous comments on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain branded “stupid”, Thierry Henry now knows what the Liverpool midfielder does.
As the England international headed for the exits at Arsenal in the summer of 2017, a Gunners icon claimed to have “been watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at”.
Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old did not take too kindly to those comments and has blasted back at the Frenchman and fellow pundit Gary Neville – who also questioned his value following a £35 million transfer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been able to respond as his performances for Liverpool have shown what he is capable of when used in the right position by a manager who believes in him, and Henry concedes that he has been proved wrong.
He told Sky Sports on an England international who will be hoping to carry his form through to the end of the season and into a World Cup campaign: “Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves praise for what he's done during his short time at Liverpool so far. 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 No.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.
“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.”