Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says Liverpool can cope without Philippe
Coutinho as they prepare for the daunting task of hosting Premier
League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
The Brazil playmaker, who scored 12 goals this season for the
club, completed a 160 million-euro ($194 million, £142 million)
move to Barcelona on Monday to leave a significant hole in Jurgen
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who experienced key personnel such
Robin van Persie leave when he was at Arsenal, believes he and
the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino can
help fill the void without too much disruption.
"I haven't really even thought about Phil leaving," he said. "You
realise it happens but you can't start thinking 'what are we
going to do now that Phil is not here?'
"It can't be that at all. It's business as usual.
"When Phil wasn't in the team we still played great football and
we have still amazing players who can score goals -- the likes of
Mo (Salah), Sadio, Roberto."
With Liverpool seemingly unlikely to buy a replacement in the
January transfer window, Coutinho's departure provides an opening
for Oxlade-Chamberlain and others to secure more regular
After a testing start to his Anfield career, having arrived on
the final day of the August window, the England international is
starting to show the sort of form that persuaded Klopp to spend
£35 million on him.
"Of course it's an opportunity for me, just as it is for all the
rest of the boys who want to play there," he said. "It is our job
to keep the wheels moving and momentum going.
"I am the type of person who relishes the chance to stand up and
perform under pressure, I have had to do that my whole career."
Oxlade-Chamberlain faced criticism in his first few months as he
adapted to a new playing style under Klopp but said he had faith
in himself and his manager.
"There was a lot of controversy and talk, maybe it's a time when
you just want to get your head down and settle in," he said.
"There's a lot of noise around what's happening and that can make
things a bit difficult.
"I didn't mind too much people talking because I knew that's what
would happen. Once you clear that ridge and focus on getting your
head down and playing more, I feel that's where I am now."