Former Reds forward Peter Crouch, who played with current Anfield star Xherdan Shaqiri during his time at Stoke City in the Premier League, claims Jurgen Klopp cannot trust the winger because he is not tactically suited to the German’s system.
Shaqiri played a key role off the bench last season, but this time around has struggled for minutes.
No player is perfect and with some, there’s always a story (for some it’s a ridiculous Twitter spat between WAGs, while for others, it’s about wanting to play online bingo games or whatever the story was with James Maddison).
With Shaqiri, though, it feels as if he’s painted one way, and behind the scenes is very different. Crouch is definitely not taking a dig at the Switzerland captain – he says he is incredibly talented – but that he is not quite the right fit for Klopp.
Crouch told the Irish Independent: “I wasn’t surprised Liverpool took him because he’s one of the most naturally gifted footballers I’ve played with. He can make a difference.
“My issue when he played at Stoke was that while he could look brilliant, there were times when there was a lot of tactical ill-discipline.
“Mane and Salah… as technically gifted as they are, they’re doing their bit for the team. It’s quite obvious that Klopp needs that. If he can’t trust someone 100 per cent, it looks to me like he won’t play you.”
At times it has been down to injury – Shaqiri was a certainty to start against MK Dons for instance until he pulled out through an unfortunate knock – but at other times, as his ex-teammate eludes to, Klopp simply hasn’t fancied him.
There is still, though, plenty of time for that to change over the coming weeks and months. Shaqiri could yet play a vital role in this campaign.