Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed he bears no ill-will to Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian left Liverpool to join Barcelona.
The £35m summer arrival spoke to the Independent about his first six months at Anfield and, after the £142m saga involving his former teammate, Oxlade-Chamberlain was always going to be asked his opinion on Coutinho's departure.
The England international, though, insisted that players will always come and go at football clubs and wants the current Reds stars to move on and continue playing well for the club's supporters now that the issue is done and dusted.
He said: “Great players will leave clubs and the clubs will bring in great players. We have just brought in Virgil and what an amazing addition he has been in the short time he has been here, he has brought that air of confidence and his persona. That has been a big lift for us.
"At a massive club like Liverpool people are going to come and go and whoever remains it is our job to keep the wheels moving and keep the momentum going.
“As I said, you don’t like to see friends leave – and Phil was a really good guy as well – but you wish them all the best. Everyone has to do what they have to do around it. It’s our job now as the players that remain just to keep going and for me really it is business as usual.”
Really impressed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both on and off the pitch. Took a lot of stick when he came in but has knuckled down and really settled. Knows he’s got lots of improvements to make as well.— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) January 11, 2018
Liverpool's first Premier League game without the mercurial Coutinho sees them entertain league leaders Manchester City - a team they were trounced 5-0 by earlier this term.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who revealed it was 'difficult' to settle on Merseyside following his move from Arsenal, stated his belief that Jurgen Klopp's men had what it takes to inflict a first league defeat of the campaign on Pep Guardiola's juggernaut of a side.
Indeed, the midfielder used his own example of being a visiting player to Anfield as how the home crowd can help roar Liverpool to victory.
Maybe we signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Coutinho’s long term replacement. Just a thought.— Kloppite (@PeteKopite) January 7, 2018
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He added: “When I used to come to Anfield as an away player, I always knew it was going to be a hard game, no matter what kind of form your team was in. When the fans get going and the boys play like they can, it’s a really tough afternoon for whoever we play.
“We know we can beat City. We have to be good on the day. We need to defend well and attack like we know we can. We have everything we need to go and get the right result.”