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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could struggle for opportunities at Liverpool should he continue to harbour a desire to play in central midfield, according to ex-Reds defender Jamie Carragher. The England international completed his move to Anfield on deadline day after initially turning down a move to Premier League champions Chelsea.
According to BBC Sport, the 24-year-old has moved to Anfield for £35m from Arsenal having rejected a switch to the Blues due to their intention to play him at wing-back. The ex-Southampton youngster has taken a pay-cut to move to Merseyside, having agreed a five-year contract worth £120,000-a-week.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will compete for a place alongside Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, James Milner and Marko Grujic and could make his Liverpool debut when the team travel to Manchester City on 9 September. But Carragher feels he starts down the pecking order and has questioned the deadline day addition.
"He talks a lot about wanting to plays in central midfield, so that will be interesting to see how that one plays out because Liverpool have got five or six central midfielders who are really good," he told Sky Sports. "I am not sure if Oxlade-Chamberlain would get in that midfield three if everyone is fit. You still have Coutinho and Lallana to come back to the players who performed so well at the weekend. So it remains to be seen how that one will work.
"He is a good player for the squad at this moment, but central midfield, I am still scratching my head on that one. But with Jurgen Klopp buying him with only 12 months left on his contract, there must certainly be a plan in place for where he is going to play and fit in. I am interested to see how that one works out."
Despite reports suggesting Oxlade-Chamberlain's decision was motivated by the position in which he will play - he sees himself as a central midfielder rather than a wide player - Klopp has attempted to dismiss talks over his role at Liverpool. The German first noticed Oxlade-Chamberlain during a Champions League tie against his Borussia Dortmund side, and has followed his career ever since.
"I hear a lot of talk about positions but let's talk about the player; he is someone with really good abilities who always gives everything for his team," he told the official Liverpool website. "A player that is positive and willing to take risks to try and make positive things happen.
"He may still be young but he has a lot of experience in the Premier League, Champions League and for his country. Already he is a very, very good player and I think he has the mentality and desire to get even better - and that excites me.
He added: "I remember the first time I saw him play live - it was at Dortmund in 2014 and he came on as a sub that day and made a big impact. He stood out immediately because of his pace and skills and his attitude in such a big game for a young player; I remember him chasing back to make a brilliant challenge on Mkhitaryan in the box to save a certain goal.
"We won that game but lost the return match at Arsenal when he started and played well, I think he hit the post. Since then I have followed him and when I heard it may be possible to sign him I didn't need to think twice."