Lallana hails Oxlade-Chamberlain move
For all that Adam Lallana appreciates the playing talent of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it was a moment off the pitch that told him everything he needed to know about the new Liverpool No.21.
“I remember him coming in and it was quite a grown-up thing to do, he was only 17 or 18, he said in front of all the lads ‘Listen, I’ve had a great opportunity,’” recalls the midfielder, referencing an occasion in 2011.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was set to move to Arsenal, from Southampton, after teaming up with Lallana as the south coast club began their rise through two divisions to the Premier League.
And with maturity beyond his teenage years, the soon-to-be 18-year-old offered an unprompted, personal explanation to his teammates.
“He wished us all the best. Part of him was sad that he couldn’t stay; we had a great squad there and that’s when we did back-to-back promotions to the Premier League,” Lallana tells Liverpoolfc.com.
“I thought that was a really mature thing to say at such a young age. I’ve always taken notice of how he does. Even watching him against us in the 4-0 win, part of me was thinking his attributes would be great in our team. And a week or so later, he’s a Red.
“He has taken Lucas’ spot next to me in the changing room. That was always going to be a difficult spot to fill but he does it justice.
“He’s a great lad and I’m really looking forward to working with him. I’ve obviously played with him for England, Southampton and now Liverpool.”