Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has apologised to Xherdan Shaqiri for a lack of opportunities, after the Switzerland international was handed his first start for Liverpool in almost seven months in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night.
Liverpool ran out emphatic 5-2 winners in an emphatic victory over Everton, with Shaqiri among the scorers in a side that featured several changes.
Speaking to the Liverpool website after the game, Klopp acknowledged Shaqiri’s recent lack of first-team chances but praised his impact.
Klopp said: “Sorry Shaq. He was injured a couple of times. If he could have scored two goals like Divock instead of one, I could say exactly the same [as he did about Origi].
“He looked completely fresh, he looked strong, physically strong so it is important players train after they get injured. He had twice this calf thing this season, so there was not a lot to change but I think he has been back in training for two or three weeks now completely normal.
“He understood the situation, that’s how it is in a squad when you win a lot of games, you don’t make 20 changes.”
Shaqiri also spoke about his long-awaited return to the starting line up on the club website, saying: “I’m ready, I think the coach saw that too in training. I trained very well and today he gave me the chance and I think I played very well.
“Everybody knows that it’s a busy period now with a lot of games coming up. I’m very happy to be back. I’m feeling fresh, feeling good and I think you saw that today… All the goals we scored were very good – from the training ground I think. We trained that a lot, the coach wanted that we ran behind defenders and we know that Everton have some serious problems like every team.”