Jurgen Klopp also provides injury updates on Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita
Last Updated: 23/05/19 12:14pm
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is dreaming of playing a part in the Champions League final after injury denied him a role 12 months ago.
Following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last season’s final, the England international hopped around the stadium on crutches trying to keep up with his team-mates as they acknowledged the support of fans.
Oxlade-Chamberlain sustained a serious knee injury in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma last term, a problem which ruled him out of the clash with Madrid a month later and sidelined him for 12 months in total.
Having made his comeback in two substitute appearances amounting to just 20 minutes, the 25-year-old is hoping he gets to make up for missing out last year.
“I wasn’t able to get loads of minutes [on my return] but I was happy to just come back,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“Dreams are made of maybe having some part to play in Madrid, but it’s not about me – it’s about making sure whoever is on the pitch does the job for the club and for the team.
“If I can be involved, that would be amazing, but just to be around it and be fit and healthy again is good for me as well at the minute.
“At times it’s been a little bit frustrating as well because you feel you are back and to then keep up with these boys after the long season they’ve had and the intensity they train at, coming back from a year [out] it’s not so easy and you pick up little things along the way.
“It’s been another little journey for me the last part, but it’s been really exciting to be in and around the team and in contention to maybe have some part in the final.
“After ‘crutching’ my way around the pitch last year, it’s nice to be in this situation!”
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp has indicated Roberto Firmino is on course to return for the Champions League final after missing Liverpool’s last three matches of the season due to a muscle injury.
“Bobby looks really good [and] he is now part of training,” he said. “It was not too long out, but of course we are still careful and want to make sure nothing happens.”
Klopp also revealed Naby Keita is making progress in his rehabilitation from a thigh injury, which has gone better than expected.
While it would be surprising to see him feature against Tottenham on June 1, Klopp did not dismiss the possibility of the midfielder representing Guinea at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final,” Klopp added.
“He is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 per cent intensity and these things – but there is still a way to go.
“I know about the issues with Guinea and stuff like that; we don’t want to keep a player out if he can play – maybe they think it is like this, but it is not like this.
“For me, it would be good if Naby would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be 100 per cent honest.
“If he is not 100 per cent fit, he cannot play. That’s how it is. It is not important whether you play for your country or your club. That’s what we try to make sure. It looks good, very positive and we will see if there is a chance.”