Very disappointing for him. But also very typical of his career to date. Injuries always getting in the way of his development.
Hypothetically, if we went back to last summer and were given the option of extending his contract (for arguments sake let’s say it was an option) or selling, I still would have sold him.
Maybe a new Arsenal manager would have got more from him but I just think he was stagnating at Arsenal.
He’s quite an impatient player when on the ball. You always feel like he wants to run with it immediately or look for the killer pass. That sort of impulsiveness in our midfield is extremely risky (given that it we lose the ball, we are essentially going to concede a fucking shot on goal) and not particularly fitting to our slower tempo. Not that he got many chances to play in his preferred position with us…
At Liverpool under Klopp though, it’s perfect for the extremely quick transition football they play. His impulsiveness works really well knowing that Northern workhorse #1 (Milner) and Northern workhorse #2 (Henderson) are covering / offering protection.
When you also take into account his injuries and the very generous amount of money we received from Liverpool (for a player in the last year of his contract), we did good. And so did Liverpool. Rarely do you get a transfer between two “rivals” where both parties are happy.