Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Xherdan Shaqiri’s start to his Liverpool career was better than he anticipated after the Switzerland international scored a stunning overhead kick in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Manchester United.
Shaqiri came off the bench at half-time to make his first appearance for Liverpool following his £13 million move from Stoke City. He immediately provided an assist for Daniel Sturridge before netting the Reds’ fourth goal with an acrobatic effort eight minutes from time.
“It was good, obviously,” Klopp said of the Swiss international’s performance at a news conference. “That’s not normal after four days in the club — adapting that well to the style of play.
“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.”
Shaqiri joined up with his Liverpool teammates in New Jersey on Tuesday after being granted an extended break following the World Cup.
Klopp continued: “For Shaq, in the moment he signed, he wanted to stay immediately at Liverpool and train with us. 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.”
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