Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has heaped praise on Xherdan Shaqiri but has revealed he will have to think about possibly dropping him from the Reds' next Champions League fixture.
Swiss star Shaqiri was inspirational for Klopp’s side as the Merseyside outfit stormed to a 4-0 victory over Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.
While Mohamed Salah netted his 50th Liverpool goal in just 65 games against Red Star, many of the plaudits went to Shaqiri’s excellent ability on the ball. Klopp was aware of Salah’s achievement, but spoke about how pivotal Shaqiri was to Liverpool’s performance.
“I think he would say thanks to his teammates, it’s quite difficult to score goals without these wonderful passes, crosses. The first goal he scored was a genius little link-up play by Shaq,” said Klopp, as quoted by the Telegraph.
“If you work hard, are in the right spaces, if your teammates see you and you make the right runs, you will score. It’s an exceptional number, hopefully he can continue. What’s the next record he can reach?”
Red Star fans were banned from Anfield on Tuesday night but that didn’t stop a few hundred fans getting into Anfield, aiming abuse at Shaqiri. Red Star officials have said they will protect Switzerland international Shaqiri when he goes to Belgrade.
This comes after Shaqiri, who was born in Kosovo with Albanian roots, celebrated with the ‘Albanian eagle’ in front of the Serbian fans at the World Cup after scoring for Switzerland.
Klopp says he hasn’t thought about dropping Shaqiri for the return game in Belgrade to avoid tensions spilling over. He said: “So far, I didn’t think about it, to be honest. It makes sense that I first think before I speak.”