Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move to Barcelona will not damage Liverpool according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The former Arsenal player who moved to Liverpool in the closing days of the transfer window last summer also described Coutinho’s departure as “strictly business”, and the responsibility of every Liverpool player to compensate for the second biggest transfer fee of all time.
“I haven’t really even thought about Phil leaving,” he said. “You pay it attention and you realise it happens but you can’t think: ‘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 didn’t play in some games we still played great football and we still have amazing players who can score goals – the likes of Mo [Salah], Sadio [Mané], Roberto [Firmino] and everyone else. We have goals and creativity all over the team.”
“Obviously Phil added to that, there is no doubt about that. The fact is he has gone now and we have to think about what we have got that is going to get the job done. I have every faith in the boys that we just move on now. I don’t think it should affect us at all.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain added that Coutinho’s departure represents “an opportunity for me, just as it is for the rest of the boys who want to play there”.
“You want to play as much as possible but I am not the type of character to go bursting walls down. I knew coming into a new environment that the manager would want me to learn the way he wants me to play and how to play best with the team. I respected I was the new boy and I had a lot of learning to do.”
“The biggest thing I’ve had to learn is how this manager likes to stop situations at source and how he likes to attack is slightly different to how my manager before [Arsene Wenger] liked to attack. There’s not really one right and one wrong way but after six years at one club certain things become second nature to you and it takes time to break that instinct.”