Xherdan Shaqiri was handed his first Liverpool start against Southampton (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has explained why he decided to hand Xherdan Shaqiri his first Liverpool start in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton at Anfield.
Shaqiri, who joined Liverpool from Stoke City in the summer, replaces experienced midfielder James Milner in the Reds’ starting line-up.
Before today, the Switzerland international had only made three appearances for Liverpool, all from the bench.
But Klopp says Shaqiri is in ‘good shape’ and that he is ‘happy’ to be able to rotate his squad against the Saints.
Asked about Shaqiri’s full Liverpool debut, Klopp said: ‘He [has been] in a good shape since he [came] in actually.
‘I’m happy that we can make changes – not because we have [to] but because we can make them. That’s the reason for that.’
Ahead of the Premier League fixture, Klopp admitted he may have made a ‘mistake’ by not giving Shaqiri more game-time earlier in the campaign.
‘He is very positive, not only from the performances but as a guy in the dressing room,’ Klopp said.
‘Everyone loves Shaq, that is how it is – and without playing plenty of minutes.
‘That is more my mistake than his. He has done everything to play. I made different decisions but his time will come, that is for sure.’
Liverpool will hope to maintain their 100% record against Southampton, while the Saints will be looking for their second victory of the season.
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