London: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was impressed with Xherdan Shaqiri’s performance in Thursday’s 7-2 win against Lincoln City in the League Cup and said his situation at the Premier League club “looks promising”.
The Switzerland international, making his first start since the Club World Cup last December, played in a slightly deeper midfield role and opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a stunning free-kick from the edge of the penalty area.
Shaqiri, who joined Liverpool from Stoke City in 2018, has managed just 42 appearances in all competitions, with injuries and a loss of form dropping him down the pecking order.
The addition of Thiago to Liverpool’s already well-stocked midfield resources means Shaqiri will find playing time even more difficult to come by but Klopp gave little to suggest he is surplus to requirements.
“First of all it was a super game; a super game in a quite, I’m not sure, unfamiliar position. He did it really, really well,” Klopp said.
“There is no doubt about Shaq’s quality, there was never any doubt and in the moment everything looks really, really good, it looks promising and we will see.” Liverpool face Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday.
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Meanwhile, teenage Manchester City striker Liam Delap said being named in the starting line-up for Thursday’s League Cup clash against Bournemouth caught him off guard but that he would be smiling for weeks after marking his senior debut with a goal.
Delap, the son of former Stoke City defender Rory, scored the opener for Pep Guardiola’s side in the 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, running on to Phil Foden’s through ball and firing past Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.
“It was a bit of a shock to be put in the starting line-up but I took it with a pinch of salt and just worked my hardest,” the 17-year-old told BBC.
“I was buzzing to get the call up and to top it with a goal, I can’t ask for much more.
“I need to keep working hard in training and look to take every opportunity I get. It will take a few weeks to stop smiling.”
With Sergio Aguero still battling a knee injury, Guardiola said Delap would have more opportunities to impress.
“We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him,” Guardiola said. “At 17, Liam is a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality.
“We see in training how good a finisher he is. Now is the time to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance.”