Klopp calls Oxlade-Chamberlain's return from injury 'unbelievable'

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The former Arsenal man returned to first team action as a substitute at Anfield after injury layoff of a year and two days

Liverpool welcomed back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from injury in Friday’s Premier League game against Huddersfield.

The 25-year-old midfielder came on as a 73rd-minute substitute, replacing Georginio Wijnaldum for his first appearance since suffering a knee injury against Roma in the Champions League semi-finals on April 24 last year.

The England international's club manager welcomed the player back effusively, calling his return after 367 days a special moment.

“[Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return is] unbelievable,” Klopp said.

“We had to think about what we wrote on the team sheet today what we call him, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there are a lot of options obviously – Alex, Ox, Chambo, whatever! It’s that long ago.

“It’s really nice, it’s really good news that he’s back. He’s been back for a while and now today back in the squad, so it’s cool – really cool.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain had made his way back to the first team via two appearances for the U-23’s.

Before his injury Oxlade-Chamberlain had appeared 39 times for Liverpool scoring five goals and registering seven assists after joining from Arsenal in a deal reported to be worth £35m ($45m)

When he came on in Friday’s game Liverpool were already ahead 4-0, before going on to triumph 5-0 over their Championship-bound opponents.

Two goals apiece from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah plus one from Naby Keita saw off the Terriers.

Keita’s goal was Liverpool’s fastest in Premier League history, coming after only 15 seconds, and Mane and Salah each crossed the 20-goal barrier during the game.

Liverpool’s victory keeps the pressure on Manchester City as the Anfield club retake pole position in the table ahead of City’s game with Burnley on Sunday.

The return of Oxlade-Chamberlain will temper the bad news that came with Liverpool’s announcement of their squad for Friday’s game.

Roberto Firmino’s name was missing from their 16 as he suffered an injury in training, which will cause Liverpool concern ahead of their Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

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The first leg of that tie takes place at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Klopp downplayed the seriousness of Firmino’s injury, suggesting his sidelining was precautionary. The Brazilian was replaced in the starting XI by Daniel Sturridge.

 

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