Football

Oxlade-Chamberlain can fill Coutinho's role: Danny Higginbotham

Former Southampton defender Danny Higginbotham believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can offer a similar attacking option to former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Ahead of the Reds' top-of-the-table clash against Oxlade-Chamberlain's former club Arsenal tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Higginbotham said the England midfielder has become a key player for Liverpool.

New Bayern Munich loan signing Coutinho was Liverpool's main creative outlet before he left for Barcelona in January last year.

Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first English Premier League start since April 2018 in last Saturday's win over Southampton.

He has been plagued by serious injuries over the past 16 months.

Higginbotham told Sky Sports: "The way Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays, he wants to get forward from midfield.

"You have the front three, we know the outside of the front three like to play narrow.

"Roberto Firmino likes to drop deep, so there is going to be space in behind for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get into.

"That's something he was doing really well before he picked up his injury.

"It will take a bit of time for him to get back up to speed again, but he's an important player for Liverpool and can give them something different.

"Firmino creates a lot of problems for centre-backs.

"He drags them out and that leaves space in behind.

"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, before he got his injury and missed a lot of time, was taking that space up.

"I'm not comparing him to Philippe Coutinho, but it's similar to what Coutinho was doing at Liverpool to a certain extent, getting beyond the midfield with players in front of him."

Football