herald

Friday 13 December 2019

Ox time to shine

Winger gets new deal and aims to make up for missing last year

MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME: Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain has been given a new deal at Anfield. Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME: Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain has been given a new deal at Anfield. Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is keen to make up for lost time having signed a contract extension.

The 26-year-old, who made just two appearances last season after being sidelined with a serious knee injury, has agreed a deal which, PA news agency understands, will take him up to 2023.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who moved to Anfield from Arsenal in the summer of 2017 for £35million, has already made more appearances this campaign than he did in the whole of the previous one.

"I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it's really exciting for me to be able to sign," he said.

"It's something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time - and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year.

"You've got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don't get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day.

"I am really excited to be able to extend my time here."

Oxlade-Chamberlain had finally found his form when his season was prematurely ended by a knee injury in a Champions League semi-final first leg in April 2018.

He has already shown signs of reaching those levels again in his three appearances this season and he is keen to return to top form.

Special

"I hope that I can do some special things like I did before I got injured and, most of all, be a part of this group of players that go on to hopefully win more things," he added.

"I'm really excited to see what the future holds for us all and I look forward to seeing them every game moving forward.

"I can promise the supporters that I'll give them absolutely everything moving forward.

"There might be times where I have bad games and good games and moments where it's not so good, but I'll always work through those moments and give my everything to correct them and keep pushing this team forward."

Away from the first-team squad, Liverpool have abandoned existing plans for the redevelopment of Anfield in favour of a more ambitious project.

The club had outlined planning permission, due to expire next month, to expand the Anfield Road stand by 4,000 seats to lift the ground's capacity to over 58,000.

However, with the demand for tickets still outstripping supply, those plans have been shelved - planning permission will be allowed to lapse - as Liverpool consider a grander scheme which would take the number of seats beyond 60,000.

The club remain committed to the redevelopment but now want to consider a scheme which pursues "a vision in keeping with the club's aspirations".

"The progress that has been made during ongoing feasibility studies has resulted in us being in a position to allow the outline planning permission to lapse," said chief operating officer Andy Hughes.

Local

"We are committed to working with local residents, planning officials and others as we now focus on the detail behind any proposed redevelopment for Anfield Road.

"Throughout this process we have been clear that our objective is to find the best possible solution for Anfield Road and that remains the case."

Liverpool completed a £110million rebuild of the Main Stand at Anfield in 2016 which raised the capacity by 9,000.

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