Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to play again for Liverpool before November after undergoing knee surgery earlier this month.
The England winger picked up the injury in Liverpool’s Champions League semi final first leg win over Roma at Anfield and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the season and the 2018 World Cup.
His knee surgery was a success and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is currently on crutches, has started the long rehabilitation process. It is difficult to put a time frame on his recovery, with Liverpool initially hoping that 24-year-old would be fit for the start of next season.
But the Liverpool Echo understands that a six-month recovery period is more realistic, meaning that Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the first few months of the 2018/19 campaign.
It’s a real blow for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who seemed like an unusual signing when he joined from Arsenal for £35m last summer but has grown in stature during the season.
He scored against Manchester City when Liverpool ended their unbeaten league run in January and was also on the score sheet when the Reds ran riot against City in the Champions League quarter finals.
Jurgen Klopp said after the injury that the club will keep faith in Oxlade-Chamberlain and wait for him until he returns.
“I cannot believe that this wonderful player and person in such a positive situation helping the team, making such a clear challenge, had this happen to him,” Klopp said.
“I’ve told him already that we will wait for him like a good wife when a man is in prison.”
The addition of Naby Keita will strengthen Liverpool’s midfield options but the expected departure of Emre Can means that the Reds will need to delve into the transfer market for reinforcements.
Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 26.