Liverpool could have the perfect carrot to dangle in front of Aston Villa if they decide to revisit their interest in Douglas Luiz when the transfer window swings back open in January. A swap deal involving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be just the ticket to get the job done, particularly based on the midfielder’s past comments.
The Reds joined Arsenal in pursuit of Luiz towards the end of the summer window, although it was the Gunners that launched concrete bids on deadline day. Liverpool had already sewn up a loan deal for Arthur Melo to ease their midfield concerns, but Jurgen Klopp could revisit a move for the Aston Villa man in a few weeks’ time.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard was adamant that Luiz would not be sold in the summer and, indeed, Arsenal failed with a trio of late bids. Even though £25million wasn’t enough to see the Brazilian leave the West Midlands last week, Liverpool could have a secret weapon up their sleeve to make the deal more tempting.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been hugely complimentary about Gerrard in the past, describing the former England midfielder as his ‘idol’.
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Oxlade-Chamberlain rose through the ranks with Southampton, nurturing a huge reputation as a teenager and earning a big move to Arsenal after making his Saints debut as a 16-year-old. Having notched just shy of 200 appearances for the Gunners, his stint in north London came to an end five years ago and he has effectively been a peripheral figure at Anfield ever since.
The 35-cap former England international was often deployed on the wing during his younger days but cited Villa boss Gerrard for his motivation to become more of a specialist in central midfield. “Playing for a team like Arsenal, it ends up being more of a right-wing job,” he admitted back in 2017.
“I get the ball from deeper and that plays into my hands more. At the end of the day, it’s given me minutes and I’m not one to complain. But, the centre-mid role… I’ve always wanted to be Steven Gerrard, so I’ve still got a hope of that.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to feature under Klopp this campaign after sustaining a ‘serious’ hamstring injury in Liverpool’s pre-season victory over Crystal Palace. Luiz, meanwhile, has scored once in five Premier League outings for Villa.