Liverpool legend John Barnes has said that the returning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be like a new signing for the Reds, and could help spur the team over the line in the Premier League title race.
A horrific injury towards the tail end of last season kept the midfielder out of the Champions League final in Kiev, and was expected to keep him sidelined for pretty much all of the 2018/19 campaign.
Recently, however, he has stepped up his recovery, and could be poised for an ahead-of-schedule return to action in March, boosting the midfield options available to Jurgen Klopp as his side mounts a Premier League title offence.
It's a boost that Barnes says could prove pivotal, and could be as effective as a new signing.
Barnes, speaking exclusively for bookmaker comparison platform BonusCodeBets.co.uk, said: “It’s a big boost to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back. It’s that time of the season where you want your quality players to be fighting for a first team place.
"Liverpool have had a couple of injuries in defence, so that is a bit restricting on the squad. However, seeing these players coming back to full fitness this time of the season, it’s like having a new player with a drive where others may be getting fatigued.
"Alex coming back, will add a lot to the midfield where Liverpool’s main strength is. It’s crucial to see him return, and I’m sure his presence amongst the rest of the player will go a long way to helping the squad.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain became an important player in the early part of 2018, but tragically found himself sidelined just as his form was hitting fever pitch.
He'll be hoping, however, to hit the ground running with some first team action yet again this season, and help Klopp's Reds to a first major trophy since 2011.