Jamie Carragher feels Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is more effective in central midfield for Liverpool than in a more advanced role.
The versatile England international has been used in both areas to decent effect by boss Jurgen Klopp during his time at the club.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored three times from the wide position for Liverpool this season, with the other four coming while in a central role.
He has struggled to force his way in Klopp’s first choice XI though, and did little to convince his boss when starting on the left of Liverpool’s front three against Brighton on Wednesday.
“I think he’s far better central than he is out wide,” Carragher told Sky Sports . “I don’t see him part of a front three. I think the inside right position in midfield really suits him.”
Certainly that’s where England boss Gareth Southgate feels he is at his best.
Speaking after England’s 4-0 win over Kosovo in November, Southgate said: “In terms of the attributes for the [central] position, Alex is perfect because you need guys that can defend, and it’s obvious the attacking talent that he has.”
And as far as Klopp is concerned, the player is a valued member of his squad.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain, if he is not in your first XI, he has played incredible games for this club,” Klopp said when defended the star’s performance against Aston Villa.
“He won the game almost alone against [Manchester] City a year or two ago. He is not the worst footballer since then.
“It is not easy. I cannot judge people on a game in which the whole team is not performing great. I see them in training and I know they are more than options for me, and that is really good.”
The 26-year-old has had a difficult time with injuries since leaving Arsenal to join the Reds in 2017.
But while he has showed flashes of his best form this season, he could face extra competition for a place next season.
Liverpool have been linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is reported to have already agreed a deal with the Merseyside club.
Tuttomercato report only a fee is still to be determined between the two clubs ahead of the proposed transfer this summer, which would add to Liverpool’s growing wealth of midfield options.
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