Xherdan Shaqiri surpasses Klopp's expectations on Liverpool debut

The £13million signing produced an assist and a wonderful goal on his Reds debut

Xherdan Shaqiri surpasses Klopp's expectations on Liverpool debut
Xherdan Shaqiri (23) of Liverpool celebrates after a goal during an International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, on Wednesday, July 28, 2018. (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Get

Jurgen Klopp waxed lyrical about the second-half performance of Xherdan Shaqiri after watching his side comfortably beat Manchester United in the International Champions Cup.

Shaqiri was introduced for his debut at the break and teed up Daniel Sturridge before bagging the third of his side's four goals via a spectacular bicycle-kick.

The Swiss international had only joined up with the squad four days earlier following his post-World Cup break but slotted in seamlessly in Ann Arbor.

Speaking to the press after the match, Klopp admitted he was somewhat stunned by the display of his £13million acquisition

"That's not normal after four days in the club - adapting that well to the style of play," said Klopp.

"We wanted to help him a little bit with the position so that it's not too complicated, gave him a lot of freedom, offensively playing natural, plus offering runs in behind, which is what he did, especially around the Sturridge goal.

"It was better than I would have expected, to be honest. I think today it was a game where it was quite easy to come in for pretty much all of them because we played over 90 minutes of really good football on a very difficult pitch for both teams."

Klopp also praised Shaqiri's attitude, revealing that he was eager to cut short his holiday and begin training straightaway when he completed his move to the Reds.

"For Shaq, in the moment he signed he wanted to stay immediately at Liverpool and train with us," he explained. "I think it was a week after he finished the World Cup, so I said: 'No, no, no. Go!'

"He came back a few days ago and he was really excited. For him it was a very good moment in his career, having already had a real experience at Bayern, at Stoke, at Inter.

"Those were important moments in his career and now we have him and he can now play together with a few really nice football players."

 

The customary transfer update

With less than two weeks of the window remaining, Klopp inevitably faced questions over his transfer plans.

Liverpool have spent a whopping £176.9million this summer, adding goalkeeper Alisson, midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita and attacker Shaqiri to their ranks.

There is no immediate plan to follow that with a defensive signing, Klopp says, and it appears the spending spree will now be called to a halt.

He identified the versatile Joe Gomez, a youngster who can play both centrally and on the right-hand side of the defence, as a key option. 

"This summer, no. I don't see the need," Klopp said when asked about whether he would look to bolster his back four by dipping into the market.

"Joe Gomez, playing in that role as a central defender, he combines a lot of things you don't find on the transfer market so I don't see the need at the moment."

The German is evidently satisfied with his defensive depth, but he also stressed the importance of opportunism until the deadline rolls around.

"12 days to go in the transfer market, a lot can happen," he admitted. "So now I say no, maybe you ask me tomorrow and I'll say something different."