(Reuters) - Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp has welcomed midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s self-criticism after Tuesday’s thrashing of Swansea as he believes it illustrates the midfielder’s desire for improvement.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the final goal in a 5-0 rout of Swansea at Anfield last Tuesday but the England international said after the game that he had been disappointed with his performance.
The 24-year-old joined Liverpool from Arsenal on deadline day last August hoping to play a more central role on Merseyside after being used mostly on the flanks by Arsene Wenger.
“Ox is a smart player. He knew it was not even close to his best possible performance, but it’s no problem, that’s football,” Klopp told the club’s website. (www.liverpoolfc.com)
“Ox needs to adapt to the position still, that’s no problem. He has a lot of space for improvement. But it’s nice to see that he is really hard-working on it.
“He is a really hard-working boy and wants to improve. It’s good that he knows he can do better – now we have to work together on it so he can do better.”
Klopp also hailed defender Ragnar Klavan as a role model for his team mates after the Estonian re-established himself in Liverpool’s starting line-up and helped the club record three clean sheets in his last five league starts.
Klavan is likely to be fourth choice at centre half when Virgil van Dijk joins Liverpool from Southampton in the New Year but Klopp said it was important to have depth in such key positions.
“He is a perfect role model for pretty much all signings. He loves being here,” Klopp added.
“He needs to be confident. He could be much more confident with his skills... But we are working on that as well.
“He is in good shape at the moment. It’s very, very important for us that he is. We had Joel (Matip) and Dejan (Lovren) with one or two little (injuries) so it was very important that he could step in.”
Liverpool, who are fourth in league, host eighth-placed Leicester City on Saturday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru