Klopp admits two Liverpool signings have ‘not been at the top of their game’ this season
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri are yet to show their best form since joining the club last summer.
The pair joined the Merseyside giants following their 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid but Shaqiri has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth, while it took some time for Fabinho to stake his claim.
Fabinho and Shaqiri’s debut season: Five things to know…
- Fabinho joined from AS Monaco for a reported £43.7m
- Shaqiri joined from Stoke City for a reported £13.5m.
- Fabinho made 40 appearances in all competitions, registering one goal and two assists.
- Shaqiri made 30 appearances in all competitions, registering six goals and five assists.
- Both are expected to be part of Liverpool’s squad for the 2019 Champions League final against Spurs.
Nevertheless, they’ve strengthened Liverpool’s squad depth and have made a combined total of 70 appearances between themselves, with Fabinho (40) edging out Shaqiri (30).
That being said, Klopp feels, in comparison to others, we’ve not seen either perform at their optimum level and the fact there’s more to come should be seen as encouraging.
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“Players such as Fabinho and [Xherdan] Shaqiri are very important parts of the team,” he told the club’s official website. “But then again, they are not at the top of their game, but they’ve made important steps in their development. The journey is not over, not for anyone.
“This is why we feel like we are only at the start, and that there is still a lot to come.”
Chasing a dream
Liverpool have substantially transformed since Klopp took charge in October 2015.
Across his three full seasons in charge, they’ve finished fourth twice (2016/17 and 2017/18) and second (2018/19).
The 97 points they’ve accumulated to finish runners-up behind Manchester City is the most of any non-Premier League champion and the third-highest tally in the competition’s history overall.
Liverpool have a chance to remedy that frustration by securing a sixth European Cup at Tottenham Hotspur’s expense on June 1 in Madrid. It will be their third European club final under Klopp but they’ve yet to be successful, losing to Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final before falling to Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final.