Jürgen Klopp always said that the first month of the season would be difficult on some of Liverpool’s players—players who had the quality and drive to be involved but, with the club playing just one game a week to start the season, who wouldn’t see the pitch often.
All of that is about to change, though, as players return from the September international break and prepare for a busy month of two games a week as things go from not enough minutes to go around to fixture overload. And Xherdan Shaqiri’s looking forward to it.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Shaqiri told Sky following Switzerland’s friendly loss to England. “Especially the next few weeks we have a lot of games—good games, difficult games. We’ll try to keep up our good performances and I hope we can win a lot of games.”
Last season, Liverpool had a squad that at their best and with everybody healthy could go toe-to-toe with anyone—and proved it by making it to the Champions League final. But it was also clear they lacked the depth of the top sides they were going up against.
Over the summer, they went a long way towards addressing that, bringing in players like Shaqiri who on quality and form has a strong case for regular playing time but has so far only been on the pitch for 27 minutes across Liverpool’s four matches to date.
As Klopp alluded to last month, though, it’s a situation those new players knew they were signing up for—and it’s all part of being in a squad good enough to challenge for the game’s biggest honours. Now, with the schedule ramping up, their chances will come.
Shaqiri’s chance will come. If not against Tottenham in the league on Saturday than against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League—or Southampton or Napoli or Manchester City or Chelsea in two competitions. The season is about to get interesting.
“We train hard every day and you can see that there is a lot of quality in our team,” Shaqiri added. “There’s a lot of hard work and competition, and that’s good for all the players.”