Xherdan Shaqiri hasn’t had much of a chance to prove himself so far this season. When he transferred to Liverpool from relegated Stoke this past summer, it didn’t exactly get pulses racing. However, watching his endeavor and work rate in the appearances that he has made so far has done plenty to start earning his way into the Kop’s good graces.
Saturday’s match was no exception. Shaqiri earned a rare start and didn’t let his chance go to waste. He put in a man of the match performance that included a pinpoint perfect pass to set up Mohamed Salah for the only goal of the game.
Explaining how it came about later, the Swiss national said, “I started off in a midfield three and it was also something new because normally I’m more offensive, but I think I can play this position,” Shaqiri told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Offensively the coach wanted me to be between the lines and I tried sometimes and we scored the goal. I’m really happy that I played from the beginning and I tried to give the manager a good performance. I’m really happy with that.
“My teammates know that I’m a player who can play that last pass.
“It was a good pass from Joe [Gomez], I got the ball between the lines, I turned and it’s difficult sometimes to defend when I turn and am in front of defenders. Mo made a good run and I gave him a perfect pass so it was a good goal.”
No one expects Shaqiri to start every week in the midfield, but it shows what a team Klopp is building that a player with his abilities is available to come in and do a job when called upon. With so many games for Liverpool to play between the league, Europe, and the FA Cup, it’s fair to say that Shaqiri will get plenty more opportunities to continue to grow into the new midfield position that Klopp has entrusted him with.