Paul Lambert insists there were no problems with Xherdan Shaqiri during their short time together at Stoke City.
The former Potters manager endured a tough spell at the bet365 Stadium at the end of last season as he tackled an unlikely task of evading relegation.
In a gruelling run-in, Shaqiri emerged as Stoke’s brightest hope of surviving as a leading source of both goals and creativity.
The Swiss international found the net eight times and registered seven assists in the league to all-but confirm a Premier League stay for himself if he wanted one beyond relegation.
Shaqiri later became subject to some strong criticism from Gary Neville during the World Cup, with the pundit calling his work ethic and commitment into question.
Lambert has now diminished such claims and praised Shaqiri for his efforts during his spell at the club.
“I only worked with him for 15 games, but I can honestly say I never had one problem with Shaq,” Lambert told beINSPORTS.
“He done excellent for us, scored crucial goals. Thank my lucky stars that he was there because he gave us a chance with the goals that he did score and the ones he created. He was a big player.”
“The freedom he had was because he was the one kid who could actually unlock doors for you, which you need. We had to get the best out of him because we had to try to win games.
“People can say ‘he never worked back’, but if he’s creating something at the top end of the pitch, then you’ve got a chance.”
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) August 26, 2018
Shaqiri signed for Liverpool for £13million earlier this summer, marking a much-needed addition to Jurgen Klopp’s strength in depth.
The 26-year-old arrived as viable backup for the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in wider areas, as well as offering the invention capable of giving the Reds another no.10 option.
Any doubts over his pedigree were swiftly quashed by a superb first impression in pre-season, which saw him score a stunning overhead kick against Manchester United and assist Daniel Sturridge with a perfectly-weighted cross against Torino.
He gives Liverpool the kind of instant game-changing option from the bench Klopp has been short of during his time on Merseyside.
Pre-season alone served as early evidence that he is well-prepared to produce the running statistics Klopp demands from his men.