The side Jurgen Klopp names at Anfield against Arsenal tomorrow night will certainly look very different to the one which prevailed 3-1 victors on Monday.
Pep Lijnders hinted during his Wednesday afternoon press-conference that Jurgen Klopp is indeed expected to make wholesale changes just as he did against Lincoln in the previous round.
One man who was exceptional during that 7-2 victory last week was Xherdan Shaqiri, who started his first match for Liverpool since the Club World Cup back in January.
Shaqiri was outstanding for Liverpool operating in a deeper-suited midfield role. He scored the opening goal for the Reds following his stunning free-kick which was rocketed off the underside of the bar to put Klopp and his team in the ascendancy inside 11 minutes.
Liverpool’s assistant manager Lijnders was full of praise for Shaqiri after getting off the mark for the Reds for the first time since December 2019.
On Shaqiri, Lijnders said: “He had a superb game against Lincoln in a different position to he is used to playing so that makes it even more recognisable and great.
“Also, for himself, to play [after a difficult spell with injuries] and play in this manner. If we expect one thing from Shaq it is that he tries to dictate the game and search for attacking solutions and be involved in the build-up and creating.”
If he is to feature tomorrow, it also presents the opportunity for Shaqiri to silence the talk of a potential exit in the closing days of the transfer window.
According to The ECHO, Shaqiri’s Ex-Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has urged the 28-year-old to move away from Liverpool this summer before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Liverpool have previously rejected bids for Shaqiri earlier this year after Sevilla and Roma wanted to secure the services of the former Bayern Munich prospect.
The Echo previously reported back in March that Liverpool have been open to the sale of the winger since January whom they value to be worth in the region of £25 million.
Klopp refused to sanction a deal for Shaqiri to leave midway through Liverpool’s title procession last season and he hasn’t started in the league since under the German manager.
Admittedly, injuries have had their effect too following numerous calf issues that led Shaqiri to be over criticised at times last season.
This led to persistent exit links as it was forgotten just how effective he can be when in the starting XI as proven in the Lincoln display.
A rotation role this season could still be of interest to both Shaqiri and Klopp this season as if he is to showcase what he can do on nights like tomorrow, it would go a long way to silencing talk of a potential loan exit.
If he plays, impresses – and hopefully, scores – tonight, a transfer away from Anfield should be the last thing on Shaqiri’s mind.
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