Jurgen Klopp admits Xherdan Shaqiri could be considered to have exceeded expectations at Liverpool, with the Switzerland international proving to be a “decisive” figure.
The Reds moved to land the Champions League-winning forward after seeing a £13 million ($17m) release clause in his contract triggered by Stoke’s relegation out of the Premier League in 2017-18.
Shaqiri was acquired to help complement the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana in an already well-stocked attacking department.
The 27-year-old has forced his way into contention for regular minutes with a number of impressive performances, with a goal or assist recorded in five of his last six appearances.
Klopp has been left pleasantly surprised by the early impact made by a summer signing, but feels there is even more to come from the former Bayern Munich and Inter man.
Asked by Liverpool’s official website if Shaqiri has lived up to expectations, the Reds boss said: “Yeah, or even more. What can I say?
“He’s just a fantastic boy on top, that’s really good, and he knows that he has so much potential still to improve.
“But of course he’s the guy for decisive moments, that’s how it is, and we have to make sure that it stays like this. Another really good performance and a fantastic goal on top, so it’s really cool.”
Klopp was speaking in the wake of a 2-0 victory for Liverpool over Fulham in which Shaqiri found the target.
That effort helped to preserve the Reds’ unbeaten start to the 2018-19 Premier League, with 12 games now played without coming unstuck.
Reigning champions Manchester City are still keeping the Anfield outfit off top spot, but there is only two points between two title hopefuls and some 26 matches still to be taken in.