Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has everything on his side to make a seamless return from the injury that prematurely ended his debut Liverpool season.
The England international’s influence in Jürgen Klopp’s team grew with each appearance last term, as his power, decision-making and touch from midfield came to the fore.
Sadly, Oxlade-Chamberlain was denied the chance to carry that form into the Champions League final and this summer’s World Cup – through no fault of his own.
The 24-year-old was forced off in the first half of the Anfield clash with AS Roma in late April with a knee ligament injury which ruled him out until the next campaign.
Gary McAllister has an acute understanding of the frustrations felt by Oxlade-Chamberlain and can therefore predict with confidence that the No.21 will return a stronger player.
“When he made the tackle, it was an awkward challenge. Alex doesn’t go down easily,” the Scot told Liverpoolfc.com.
“With it being World Cup year, things went flashing through my mind because prior to France ’98 I got involved in an awkward challenge with Neil Lennon – I ruptured my ACL and missed the World Cup.
“My words are no consolation but the technology around [injuries] now is brilliant; players can come back no problem. They very rarely go on to break down.
“He is strong and young enough. Mine happened towards the end of my career but from the moment I had the operation I hardly missed a game. It’s hard for him take the advice on, but he’ll be fine and he’ll be back.”
McAllister continued: “He was another player who maybe started a little bit slowly in his Liverpool career but he was just starting to gather some momentum in his form.
“He was taking on more responsibility, having shots at goal, getting on the scoresheet and making goals. You could see there was a smile on his face and he was starting to enjoy his football. To be hit by this blow is a shame.
“He’ll come back mentally stronger. He’ll be prepared and his body will be fine. It’s just convincing himself that there is a way back and it’s not the end of the world.”