This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Liverpool fringe man Xherdan Shaqiri has already revealed his frustrations at a lack of first-team minutes at the club this season, but he can take some comfort from Jurgen Klopp’s comments following the weekend win against Southampton.
Of the Merseyside outfit’s four matches so far in 2019/20, the Switzerland international has only featured for 11 minutes – all in the Community Shield – while he has been an unused substitute in their previous three fixtures.
“It’s clear that I want more time. I have to look at the situation and find a solution.”
Perhaps the 27-year-old was hinting at a move away at that point, but Klopp’s latest words should have offered more than a crumb of comfort to him and suggested he would be better off sticking around at Anfield.
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The German heavily rotated his midfield against St Mary’s following the midweek exertions against Chelsea in the Super Cup, with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho being replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Speaking via The Telegraph after the win against Saints, Klopp said: “No football player should play 50 or 60 games a season, especially not in these intense positions.
“Goalie and a centre-half maybe do it but all the rest: give whatever you have and next game maybe somebody else will do the job.
“That’s the plan, but we can only do that if they all stay fit.”
The fact that the centre-back and the goalkeeper positions are the only ones that Klopp doesn’t really plan to rotate offers some hope to Shaqiri, who of course himself is capable of covering more than one spot himself for the Merseyside outfit.
Now he needs to rediscover the form that saw him score six goals in two top flight months in 2018, and take his opportunity when it undoubtedly arrives.