Michael Owen has warned Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that he faces an uphill challenge to become a regular starter for Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, scored his first goal for the Reds in Tuesday’s 7-0 victory over Maribor in the Champions League.
The goal will come as light relief for Oxlade-Chamberlain who has endured a slow start to his Liverpool career after leaving Arsenal in the summer for £40million.
Owen was impressed by his cameo in Slovenia but insisted he still expects the England man to struggle for regular game-time at Anfield.
Speaking on BT Sport, the legendary striker said: ‘It’s not easy [for Oxlade-Chamberlain] – how do you get in ahead of players like [Mohamed] Salah and [Philippe] Coutinho?
‘He’s an attacking midfielder, I know he’s played in the centre before but at the minute, how does he get in?
‘He’s got to be better than the others but he’s not better than those. That’s what’s he’s up against – it won’t be easy.’
Owen, who scored 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool, added: ‘It’s competitive, they’ve got big squads nowadays.
‘He will get a chance throughout the season and he will have to take it. He just has do it every time and even then it might not be enough.’
Liverpool put their frustrating Premier League run behind them at Maribor, scoring four first-half goals and three after the break to secure an emphatic victory.
Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures
Tottenham (A) – Sun 22 Oct
Huddersfield (H) – Sat 28 Oct
NK Maribor – Champions League (H) – Wed 1 Nov
West Ham (A) – Sat 4 Nov
Southampton (H) – Sat 18 Nov
Sevilla – Champions League (A) – Tue 21 Nov
Chelsea (H) – Sat 25 Nov
Manager Jurgen Klopp said: ‘The result was really outstanding, spot on from the first second. The counter-pressing was the best I saw for a long time.
‘We scored wonderful goals, played wonderful football, it was difficult against us today. I also love the fact we stayed concentrated in the second-half and could have even scored more.’