Xherdan Shaqiri thinks he is “very close” to Liverpool’s starting XI and wants to play in the Number 10 role, according to reports.

The Swiss winger joined the Reds from Stoke in the summer and, despite only making two starts so far, has looked energetic and hungry for action.

In his first start of the season, Shaqiri was positioned in the Number 10 role behind Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – from there, he played a major role in Liverpool’s three first-half goals.

Manager Jurgen Kopp opted to withdraw Shaqiri at half-time as he was unhappy with Liverpool’s defensive setup but suggested that he may use him in that role again in future.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool takes on the goalkeeper in the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham at Anfield on August 12, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Getty Images)

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“Offensively it was a good idea,” explained Klopp. “But we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it.”

Shaqiri echoed his manager’s sentiment.

“It is certainly different if you as a player have such freedom [as a No.10],” Shaqiri said, speaking to Blick.

“The trainer [manager] gives me the freedom and I try to use it so that I can help the team as much as possible with decisive passes or with shots.

“Against Portugal I almost had to play as right-back. I play where the coach sets me up.

“But sure, on the side you have more defensive work than in the middle.

“I know that from Bayern Munich. There I also played as a full-back.”

Shaqiri also spoke about his relationship with Klopp after the pair were seen arguing after the loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup – Klopp later clarified that he spoke to his player about a late wasted free-kick opportunity rather than his performance throughout the match.

“I have a very good relationship with [Klopp],” said Shaqiri.

“It is a lot of fun to work [with him]. We did not talk much about the League of Nations.

“I am happy. I think I’m relatively close to the first 11. Very close.”

Shaqiri will undoubtedly get more game time throughout the coming fixtures as Klopp rotates his squad amid an upcoming hectic week of matches for Liverpool.

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Freelance writer and passionate Liverpool supporter from Northern Ireland. Married to the beautiful Christine. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter - YNWA.

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