LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can finally reach his full potential after the 24-year-old sealed his move from Premier League rivals Arsenal on Thursday.
The deal, for a reported 40 million pounds ($52 million), will give the England international a chance to finally define a role for himself after six years in various positions for Arsenal.
“I hear a lot of talk about positions but let’s talk about the player,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.
”He is someone with really good abilities who always gives everything for his team. A player that is positive and willing to take risks to try and make positive things happen.
“Already he is a very good player and I think he has the mentality and desire to get even better - that excites me.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain, the second England international to leave Arsenal in two days after left back Kieran Gibbs joined West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, has said he prefers a central midfield role, although his best spells at Arsenal have seen him play on the right side of midfield.
He will face tough competition at Anfield with Klopp boasting an abundance of midfield options, especially if Philippe Coutinho stays despite interest from Barcelona.
Liverpool also have England duo Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson as well as Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Klopp said Oxlade-Chamberlain, who made 132 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, has always been a player he admired from when he was manager of Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
”I remember the first time I saw him play live -- it was at Dortmund in 2014 and he came on as a sub that day and made a big impact,“ Klopp said. ”He stood out immediately because of his pace and skills and his attitude in such a big game.
“Since then I have followed him and when I heard it may be possible to sign him I didn’t need to think twice.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool came about quickly after the player, who had just a year left on his contract, expressed his desire to move to Merseyside rather than Chelsea.
He becomes Klopp’s fourth major signing of the summer.
Liverpool have also signed Mohamed Salah from Roma and Hull City left back Andrew Roberston, and on Wednesday sealed a deal for RB Leipzig’s Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, who will join the Anfield club at the end of the season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain underwent a medical on Wednesday while at England’s St George’s Park training camp where the squad are preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.
($1 = 0.7767 pounds)
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by John Stonestreet/Keith Weir