England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the World Cup after he suffered a knee ligament injury in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final clash with Roma, the club have announced.
The 24-year-old was forced off in the first half during Liverpool’s 5-2 victory over Roma on Tuesday night, with manager Jurgen Klopp wholly pessimistic on his chances of playing again this this season.
The Reds confirmed the news on Wednesday evening, with the injury sever enough as to rule him out of contention for Gareth Southgate’s 23-man panel for Russia this summer.
“The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England,” the club said in a statement on their website.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, a £35m signing from Arsenal at the beginning of the season, has grown in stature as the campaign has gone on. Having struggled to nail down a place in Klopp’s preferred starting eleven in the initial stages of his Anfield career (and losing his place in the England squad as a result), the former Gunner has matured into one of Liverpool’s best midfield performers in recent months, culminating in an outstanding showing in the two Champions League quarter-final legs against Manchester City.
As such, he may also have been a key player for Southgate’s World Cup hopes with England,
In his absence for his club, as well as that of Emre Can and Adam Lallana, Liverpool are now lsorely lacking depth in midfield to get them through until the end of the season. Short of selecting James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum for every minute of every game between now and the end of the campaign, Klopp may find himself having to trust his youth options in the next few weeks.