Xherdan Shaqiri has had an unspectacular start to life at Anfield. The Swiss forward was always going to find it hard to break into a forward line containing Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mane, though the former Stoke forward has impressed when called upon.
Shaqiri played 45 minutes at Southampton, helping the Reds to go 3-0 ahead before half time before being hooked for tactical reasons and looked sharp in his side's midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea.
One man who did not expect the 'Powercube' to perform for Jurgen Klopp was ex-Stoke team mate Charlie Adam, who told Talksport that the forward was one of the players who didn't turn up during Stoke's relegation battle:
When the chips are down you look at your big players, you want your big players to bring magic in one moment in the season, and it times we felt like the so-called big players in the squad never turned up for us and never performed.
Yeah, everybody else could help, but for all the plaudits to so-called bigger players we getting from certain members of the management staff last season – they weren't producing. But, listen, he's gone now. We move on and we look to the future. The future for us at the moment is in the Championship.
In an interview with the Evening Standard today, Shaqiri has addressed Adam's comments as well as his perception in the media.
It’s not true what they wrote because I’m a totally different type of [person].
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.
Shaqiri argued that his Adam's criticism was borne of frustration because he managed to secure a good move, whereas Adam is still with the Potters in the Championship.
The 26-year-old went on to question Adam's character, before refuting the Scots claims that he didn't help the team and pointed to the 32-year-old's red card against Everton and missed penalty against Brighton during that season as an example of Adam's failure to help his side:
I think it’s just frustration maybe or jealousy because I had a good move. I was surprised that he 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.
Paul Lambert, who was Stoke manager that season also weighed in on the debate and was firmly on Team Shaqiri, telling BeIN Sport that if only Adam had scored that penalty against Brighton then his side would still be in the top flight:
Listen, what happened there before I went in there I don't know what was going on before, but the freedom he did have was because he was the one kid that can actually unlock doors for you.
You need special players that can make things happen for you. If we'd beaten Brighton, and we had a great chance to do it with a penalty that Charlie should have scored, and if he'd done that then we'd have been totally fine.
H/T: Evening Standard