LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain received Newcastle approach in January

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has seen his game time reduced drastically in the second half of the season, which came after a spurned approach from Newcastle.

Since the turn of the year, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made only seven appearances for Liverpool, including five starts, spending eight games an unused substitute and missing two entirely.

That comes after 22 outings in the first half of the campaign, of which 12 were starts, with it little surprise he reacted with frustration on his withdrawal in the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest last month.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to enter the final year of his contract this summer, and despite pledges of faith from Jurgen Klopp, it is clear he has dropped down the pecking order.

It could be that the club, or the player himself, seeks a transfer at the end of the season, with there likely to be suitors elsewhere in the Premier League.

According to the Times‘ Paul Joyce, in fact, Newcastle already made an attempt to bring the Englishman to St James’ Park in the mid-season window.

“There was little incentive back then for the player to move,” Joyce explains, though questionably he adds: “And that probably remains the case.”

The journalist claims that: “It would be no surprise if his future remains unresolved over the summer and his contract ticks down towards its expiry date.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In reality, it may make sense for Liverpool to hold on to their No. 15, but given the competition for places in midfield – which is boosted by the development of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott – he may be minded to push for the exit.

If Oxlade-Chamberlain is not to be given a new contract, the summer is likely to be the last opportunity for the club to cash in on a player who arrived from Arsenal for £35 million in 2017.

Of course, the expected departure of James Milner on a free transfer does complicate matters, as does a similar situation playing out for Naby Keita.

Beyond Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Jones, Elliott and Milner, Klopp still has Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson, while there are high hopes for Tyler Morton breaking through from the academy.

Much will depend on the midfielder’s ambitions of regular game time, as it is almost certain he will remain a bit-part player if he stays on Merseyside.