- Manager says adapting to team that well is ‘not normal’
- Switzerland international joined team-mates on TuesdayJurgen Klopp admitted he was surprised by Xherdan Shaqiri’s Liverpool debut as the £13m summer signing scored a stunning overhead kick and set up Daniel Sturridge’s goal in the 4-1 defeat of Manchester United.
The Switzerland international only joined his new team-mates on their US tour on Tuesday having been given an extended break after the World Cup. Shaqiri replaced Mohamed Salah at the interval in the International Champions Cup fixture and delivered an impressive second half display, capped by a superb final goal in Liverpool’s comprehensive win.
“That’s not normal after four days in the club, adapting that well to the style of play,” the Liverpool manager said. “We wanted to help him a little bit with the position so that it’s not too complicated. We 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. We played over 90 minutes of really good football on a very difficult pitch for both teams. We played simple and quick, kept them moving. That was good. After the Dortmund game [a 3-1 defeat] I didn’t feel really good but I knew I don’t have to make it bigger than it is. It’s a pre-season game so if you make mistakes you should lose. Today we don’t make it bigger of course.”
Klopp added: “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 very good moment in his career, having already had a real experience at Bayern, at Stoke and at Inter. Those were important moments in his career and now we have him and he can play together with a few really nice football players.”
The Liverpool squad flew home immediately after the United game and will start a pre-season training camp in France from Monday. New signing Alisson and fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino will join the squad in Evian following their post-World Cup vacations.
By Andy Hunter, theguardian.com