Jurgen Klopp has admitted he “had no idea how to replace” Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after his serious injury against Roma in 2018.
After six years on Merseyside, Oxlade-Chamberlain has played his last game for Liverpool and will leave the club this summer.
With the last couple of years having been largely frustrating for the Englishman, it is easy to forget he was a key man for Klopp at one point earlier in his Liverpool career.
In the 2017/18 season, he helped drive the Reds to the Champions League final, scoring a stunning goal against Man City in the quarter-finals, as well as another in the league.
Oxlade-Chamberlain even said himself that he “felt a bit unstoppable” during that period.
His momentum soon came crashing down, though, when when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and ruptured his lateral collateral ligament, against Roma in the Champions League semi-finals.
Liverpool lost the final without him, and Klopp has now admitted: “I had no idea how to replace him, honestly – Ox was that good.”
In an official tribute video to Ox, Klopp said: “There are many [moments] but I just remember the goal against City, in the home game.
“Getting in between two players, winning the ball back and then a massive strike and Ederson wasn’t even close to the ball.
“That was my favourite football moment and there were a lot of others.
“Ox won everything here at Liverpool FC, that’s unbelievable, so he will be a legend as well, in the future coming back and stuff like this.
“I’m pretty sure he takes a lot of fantastic memories with him and we will keep a lot of fantastic memories with him, 100 percent.”
Despite his injury-laden latter years, Oxlade-Chamberlain will still be remembered positively for his contributions at Liverpool.
Klopp continued: “He became a proper No. 8 here in the way we wanted to play – super-energetic, technically outstanding.
“I remember early, we had our first finishing sessions and I looked and thought: ‘He didn’t score that many goals in the past, if I could shoot like you I would start in the morning at seven and finish shooting at nine or 10 o’clock because it’s incredible!’
“So, then he started scoring these wonderful goals against City and in other important games. It was always a real joy to work with him.”
It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Oxlade-Chamberlain played a big part, playing 30 games, on Liverpool’s journey to the 2020 Premier League title, something that will live long in the memory of Reds.
On his day, he was a fantastic player and will be a great asset to another club, should he stay fit.