Shaqiri says he is ‘in a good way’ but hopes best is yet to come
The midfielder scored twice as Liverpool beat Manchester United.
Xherdan Shaqiri believes Liverpool will benefit from his peak years at the club and while he is disappointed not to start every week, he feels Jurgen Klopp’s management suits him.
The Switzerland midfielder came off the bench to score twice in the final 20 minutes in the 3-1 victory over Manchester United which took the Reds back to the top of the Premier League.
Shaqiri has now netted five goals in 13 league appearances for the Reds, seven of which have been starts, and is just three goals short of his best Premier League tally of eight, achieved during Stoke’s relegation last season.
The 27-year-old is well on his way to the most prolific campaign of his career and he feels Liverpool are about to see the very best of him.
And he rejected suggestions his summer move to Anfield was make-or-break for him to succeed at a big club after indifferent spells at Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
“No. I don’t think that far. For me, I just want to improve, I’m 27, my best age to perform at a high level, so I hope the best times are coming,” he said.
“I’m in a good way and I want to help this club to try to achieve a lot of things and we are in a good way.
“Obviously I’d be lying if I said you are not disappointed when you are on the bench – every player is disappointed when he’s on the bench.
“But I always stay positive and try to help the team when I come on and you saw when I came on I tried to help the team and to have an impact.
“I scored two goals and we won the game and that’s, for me, the most important thing in the end.”
Shaqiri believes he is flourishing under Klopp’s tutelage, in which the Reds boss has usually played him as part of an attacking quartet alongside Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in a 4-2-3-1 system.
“Of course the style, how they play, it’s for me too,” he added.
“I have to go on the pitch and perform and I have qualities to be in the team, to have an impact, to decide games.
“I want that too so I try to perform always when I am on the pitch, to help the team, to score goals, to give assists, and I’m very happy at the moment with my performances.
“It was a beautiful feeling to score two goals against Manchester United, an important game against a big rival for Liverpool, and to score in front of the Kop again was good.”
Victory not only restored unbeaten Liverpool’s one-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the table but has given them the chance to extend that gap to four points when they play Wolves on Friday night.
“We try to stay there as long as we can. If you win games you can stay there, and if you don’t win you go below,” he said.
Five down, three to go in December. 👊— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 17, 2018
UP THE REDS. 🔴🔴 pic.twitter.com/bPgPnmrMGL
“If we keep going like this, we don’t know what will happen in the end but I hope we can have a nice end of the season.
“Every team in the Premier League can win a game, every team is beatable, but you need to have a very high level of performance to win a game.
“If you play only with 80 per cent, you can lose a game, so you have to be always 100 per cent and we manage that very well.”