Jurgen Klopp has given an insight into Xherdan Shaqiri‘s recent non-involvement, suggesting he has been struggling with injury for some time.
The Swiss international has been on the periphery of matters of late, an unused sub more often than not for Liverpool, and both he and Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of international duty last week.
After his excellent first half of the campaign, it has been a surprise to see Shaqiri marginalised—but his departure from the Switzerland international squad shed some light on the matter.
A groin injury was cited by the national team and, although he’s not yet back in full training, Klopp has confirmed the winger has been struggling with the issue for some time and that’s why he has been kept back.
“[He is] good, much better,” Klopp told the club website.
“Shaq, since a couple of weeks [ago], has had some problems with the groin.
“He trained, not how he could train, but was still in the squad and all that stuff because we didn’t have a lot of options. Now he feels better day by day and should be fine for the weekend.”
While it’s great news that he’ll be available for the game against Tottenham, it remains to be seen if he’s at full power.
Shaqiri is, all things considered, the Reds’ best bench option in an attacking sense—but Klopp won’t want to risk him ahead of the run-in unless absolutely necessary.
It’s less clear-cut, however, if Alexander-Arnold will be fit for the visit of Spurs.
The right-back has been suffering since the game against Burnley on March 10 and it would be a huge loss to not have him against Spurs.
Klopp says he’s still in injury rehab and will be monitored over the coming days before any decision is taken over whether he plays at Anfield on Sunday.
“Trent still feels his back. We are not 100 per cent sure, so we have to watch him. Trent wants to [be] 100 per cent, but we have to see.
“It is a strange one, it’s not an obvious injury that you can say something is broke or whatever, it’s just a bit annoying actually that he cannot feel really free.
“For him, it was really important that he could do the rehab and not being in normal training all the time.
“Hopefully [between] tomorrow and Thursday he can be back in full training and then it should be fine.”
James Milner would be one candidate to replace Trent at right-back if required, though Joe Gomez will soon be back to full fitness having returned to training on Tuesday.
Coming into the most key run of three league games, Liverpool will need all the best players available and fully fit.