Liverpool midfielders Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been left out of the club’s 2022-23 UEFA Champions League squad for the group stage. The pair are currently dealing with muscle injuries and could be out for a lengthy period.
Keita, 27, has been in and out of the Reds’ first team due to recurring injury problems since arriving from RB Leipzig for £52.75 million in 2018. So far, the Guinean has only racked up five minutes of action on the pitch in the ongoing campaign.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 29, has also been afflicted with a host of injuries and is yet to make a single appearance this season. After arriving from Arsenal for £35 million in 2017, he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and has had a torrid time returning to his best.
According to UEFA, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to make the squad for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, Arthur Melo, James Milner, Fabio Carvalho and Stefan Bajcetic were named in the squad.
Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones are in the B-list squad for the competition due to their homegrown status and age.
Earlier this month, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp shed light on Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s situation. He told the club’s website:
“It’s a muscle injury [for Keita]. For him a muscle injury, Ox is a muscle injury and they will be out for a while.”
Both midfielders are ineligible to be added again until January.
Overall, Keita has registered 11 goals and seven assists in 117 matches across all competitions for the Reds. Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the other hand, has contributed 17 goals and 15 assists in 133 appearances.
Liverpool will next travel to Napoli for their UEFA Champions League Group A opener on Wednesday (September 7). Ajax and Rangers are also in their group.
Jurgen Klopp opens up on new Liverpool signing Arthur Melo
Liverpool roped in midfielder Arthur Melo on a season-long loan from Juventus on the deadline day. Post that, Jurgen Klopp addressed the transfer in a pre-match press conference on Friday, saying about the transfer (via GOAL):
“I’m really happy about this transfer. He’s a really good footballer, I think we can all agree on that. He had a very exciting career already and he’s still pretty young. He’s at the best age for a footballer.”
“He gives rhythm, he’s a really good passer, nice feet with the ball, can demand rhythm which is pretty important. He’s really good in tight areas. We obviously play different to Juve, and we all thought it could fit pretty well. I’m pleased.”
Arthur, 26, joined Juventus from Barcelona in a deal worth up to £71 million in the summer of 2020. Known for his passing and dribbling, the Brazilian has registered one goal and one assist in 63 games across competitions for the Old Lady. He has won two trophies in the process.