Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hints Xherdan Shaqiri's omission for Arsenal tie down to transfer interest

David Lynch
·2-min read
Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has hinted that transfer interest in Xherdan Shaqiri was behind the decision to omit him from the Liverpool line-up for Thursday evening’s defeat to Arsenal.

The Swiss was one of the standout performers for the Reds in the last round of the Carabao Cup as a starting XI comprised of fringe players earned a 7-2 victory over Lincoln City.

However, he was left out this time around amid suggestions that a move away from the club might be on the cards before the upcoming transfer deadline.

Speaking after his team were beaten on penalties following a 0-0 draw with Mikel Arteta’s men, Klopp remained coy on the matter but admitted he had no other reason to leave Shaqiri out.

He said: “I can't and I don't want to say anything about that. What I can say is he is not injured and it is not for disciplinary reasons.

“It is a time of the year when a manager gets some information, then I have to react on that.”

As for the game itself, Liverpool could perhaps consider themselves unfortunate to lose having hit the crossbar and found visiting goalkeeper Bernd Leno in inspired form.

Reflecting on that fact, Klopp added: “I thought we did everything to be a deserved winner and that is how I understand sports.

“You still have to accept it doesn't work out but it was not because of the performance. Yes, the boys can play better but I am not sure they can play better after two days' training against a changed Arsenal team.

“They did their analysis as well and didn't give us the space like the last game. You have to learn from the game and I thought the boys did really well.

“We defended them really well and played some really good football. Diogo [Jota] had some good moments, his physicality with his technique was really good to watch.

“Rhys Williams did exceptionally well, Neco [Williams] had one or two moments but had a really good game, don't forget he played against Nicolas Pepe.

“Harry Wilson, my god, he played in centre-mid and defended well. I like a lot of parts of the game but we lost in the end and that's the part I don't like.”

Asked about the performance of his countryman Leno, Klopp continued: “I told him after the game, I was not too happy about that.

“Really good moments – as a manager I wish that we scored but I want to see we create.

“We showed the quality, it just didn't work out tonight and that is completely OK. We will try again, I will promise.”

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