Owen Hargreaves has claimed that Xherdan Shaqiri “doesn’t want to play” in the Sadio Mane’s vacated left-wing position, where Jurgen Klopp placed him against Brighton, as reported by Optus Sport.
The Swiss international’s versatility has been heavily utilised by the former Dortmund coach of late, as the Reds look to navigate a difficult run of fixtures without a number of key stars.
“When Mane is not there, you see (Xherdan) Shaqiri playing off the left hand side,” the pundit spoke on Matchday Live. “He doesn’t want to play there. He wants to play as a No. 10. I think it is difficult.”
We’re not entirely unfamiliar with players being played out of position in the front-three; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has previously filled-in for one of Mo Salah and co., either due to injuries sustained or for the purpose of resting one of the frontline.
It’s clear that Liverpool are always missing something when Klopp makes such a switch, with our No.10’s absence particularly evident as we succumbed to a second home defeat in a row.
Given the quality of threat Shaqiri offered the German alongside former Bayern Munich teammate Thiago Alcantara, the 29-year-old could certainly be forgiven for not quite enjoying a position change so soon after the West Ham victory.
Though we’d argue that the midfielder carries more of an impact in his favoured position, we can certainly understand the difficulty of Klopp’s position, with the Reds lacking a suitable alternative in the forward line.