The likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana have been watching from the sidelines as Jürgen Klopp’s preferred match starters soak up the minutes. Both players have made appearances but nothing substantial. With the coming weeks more fixtures will present more opportunities for Liverpool’s players who want to be playing, but are not.
Klopp explains that there’s a reason he’s kept a core group in his starting rosters and kept a smaller group to short cameos.
“Every year is the same and always in the same moment at the beginning of the season,” said Klopp. “You want to have that, and if you don’t have it then you have injuries from pre-season and that’s the last thing you want.
“This moment we are pretty much together. We have long-term injuries with Clyney and Paul Glatzel.
“Still, I would say in this moment, Shaq didn’t play enough, he is in a really good shape. Adam didn’t play enough, in a really good shape. Dejan didn’t play enough, in a really good shape.
“These are completely normal things. Some others might also say that they don’t play enough. But we have to prepare for a season.
“At the start of the season without intensity, you try to get rhythm, you try to get stability at the beginning. It’s not a moment where you change too many things.
“Then it will happen automatically and in the next weeks you have to (change things) and everything will be fine then.
“It’s not the hardest thing to do. The boys know what they have to do, they have to be in the best shape they can be. They have to use that to achieve their level, and the chances will come. That’s how it is.”
Dejan Lovren is looking to move on so it’s not absolutely imperative that he be included in the team at the expense of either Joe Gomez or Joël Matip. On the other hand you have Shaqiri. He’s played well when called upon but Klopp has mostly resigned the Swiss attacker to spots on the bench and the occasional substitute appearance. I hardly think of Adam Lallana anymore but the manager will need him fit and ready when his moment comes, too.
As the cups and the Champions League fixtures begin to arrive, nearly all of the players will have their moments to impress. I wouldn’t predict that Shaqiri will become a vital member of Klopp’s preferred eleven because the preferred eleven is ridiculous. Also, Shaqiri’s inclusion requires a few tweaks throughout the team to put him in a good working space. That’s not always ideal. But with a solid run of appearances, I would predict Shaqiri to become a reliable support option for Klopp this season. His time to prove he can do that effectively is coming up.