‘Oxlade-Chamberlain can be England’s new Gazza’ – Liverpool star can shine, says Collymore

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can become England’s ‘new Gazza’, says Stan Collymore, with the Liverpool midfielder tipped to be a talismanic figure for the Three Lions at Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate has welcomed the talented 26-year-old back into his plans during the latest international break.

A player who has endured a wretched run on the injury front, with setbacks ruling him out of three major tournaments, is back to full fitness and catching the eye for club and country.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain was back among the goals for England in their crushing 7-0 victory over Montenegro, before providing an assist in the 4-0 win over Kosovo.

He is considered to boast the creative ability and all-action mindset which could see him follow in the illustrious footsteps of Paul Gascoigne by becoming a key cog for the ambitious Three Lions.

Former Liverpool and England striker Collymore told The Mirror: “We still desperately need a player who can run with the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the opponents’ box next summer.

“A Paul Gascoigne-type figure.

“I know that sort of player doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s what we’re ­crying out for. James Maddison is a passer, Harry Winks a fire-starter with his little passes, Mason Mount arrives in the area, Raheem Sterling plays too high up for this to be his job and it just isn’t Jordan Henderson’s game.

Paul Gascoigne England
Paul Gascoigne England

“The one man who can do it is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“Now, I’m not comparing him to Gazza, but what I am saying is that he gave us a taster last week of his ability to run with the ball and commit midfielders and defenders – and that’s not something any England player has done well for a long time.

“Maddison and Mount do it from time to time, but not in the same way as the Ox, who can run past players at pace, draw three or four to him to like moths to a flame, and then pop the ball off.

“He can do something special. Jack Grealish has it in the locker as well, albeit in slower motion, but Oxlade-Chamberlain is ahead of him in the pecking order as things stand.

“My one concern about the Liverpool player is that he’s very one-footed, but what he will do in tight games is get shots off from ­distance and that can cause ­problems and open ­up ­opposition defences.

“The fact is, if we go the distance next summer, the ­majority of our games will be in the British Isles. So we will want to play on the front foot and get at people.

“That’s why I’ll be closely watching the Ox over the next few months – ­because he can show just how good he is at that.

“I won’t say he’s a shoo-in to start for England, but he’s ­certainly a shoo-in for the squad, if fit.

“He can offer ­alternatives and, more ­importantly, he’s a player who can get people out of their seats.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who made his England debut back in 2012, now has 35 caps and seven goals to his name, with the hope being that he can steer clear of further injury struggles and truly fulfil the potential he has displayed at Southampton, Arsenal and Liverpool.

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