Shaqiri surprised by substitution, but Klopp denies row

Jurgen Klopp has denied having a row with Xherdan Shaqiri, but the Swiss star says that he was surprised to be substituted against Southampton.

Liverpool and Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri   -  Getty Images

Xherdan Shaqiri was surprised to be substituted at half-time of his full Premier League debut for Liverpool, but says that his relationship with Jurgen Klopp is good.

Shaqiri started against Southampton on Saturday and had a hand in two goals as the Reds raced into a 3-0 lead at the break.

But, the Switzerland international was replaced by James Milner for the second half as Klopp made a tactical adjustment.

"I was surprised to be honest. But, it's the solution of the coach so you have to understand this," Shaqiri told Standard Sport.

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"He just gave the same reason he said to you [the media]: it was difficult for him to take me off, but it was a tactical thing he wanted to change. He came to me straight away and said why. I have a very good relationship with him, so everything is okay."

Shaqiri started again as Liverpool lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, with footage showing the pair in an animated discussion after Eden Hazard inspired a late comeback at Anfield.

"German newspapers said I had an argument with Shaqiri - I hadn't. I didn't have an argument with Shaq on the pitch. He was the first one I met. We had a free-kick I wanted to do differently. It was only about that," Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

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The 26-year-old agreed with Klopp's assessment of the incident, saying: "[Klopp] was not intense or shouting something. It was just a tactical thing, like something off the free-kick we should do better. In the end, Jordan [Henderson] took the free-kick and it was maybe not the best solution we did there."

Shaqiri also hit back at criticism from former Stoke City teammate Charlie Adam, who intimated his fellow midfielder had not put enough effort in as the Potters was relegated from the Premier League last season. "It's not true what they wrote because I'm a totally different type of [person]," Shaqiri said.

"Some ex-football players, or ex-teammates, they spoke to the media and it looks like I am a bad boy or something, but I've never been a bad boy or had some problems at a club. For me, I'm a nice guy who likes to joke, so I think the people who spoke about me were totally wrong."

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"I think it's just frustration maybe or jealousy because I had a good move. I was surprised that he [Adam] spoke like this about me, but that is sometimes the character of a player."

"I know what he said was totally wrong because at that time I played there - especially when times were hard - I was there and I was scoring a lot of goals. I was one of the only ones who helped the team with goals in difficult games and he was that guy who took the red card in league games and missed a penalty."

"I don't have to prove Charlie Adam or some people that are speaking about me wrong. I'm just a player who wants to work and who does my job every day, the same as I always did. I know that people know how good I am - most of the people that understand football know that they are wrong."

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