Xherdan Shaqiri has revealed he wanted to leave Liverpool well before he was granted a move to Lyon in August.
Shaqiri found himself down the pecking order in the last few years at Anfield.
The Swiss star arrived for a bargain £13m in July 2018 after the Reds activated his release clause at Stoke after the Potters were relegated.
And the winger made a decent impact at Anfield in his first season with six goals from 30 appearances. The following season his game time dipped to just 11 appearances, although the former Bayern Munich man did have a calf injury.
Shaqiri featured more in 2020/21, but he was still struggling to displace Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. While the arrival last summer of Diogo Jota put the Stoke old boy further down the pecking order.
It came to a head this summer when the forward left Liverpool for Lyon in a £5.4m deal.
Shaqiri though says he wanted to leave well before August 2021, but the club kept blocking his departure.
“I wanted to leave Liverpool sooner,” Shaqiri told Watson.
“But I wasn’t allowed to; the club wouldn’t let me go. The important thing for me is that I’m gone now. There were also offers from Spain and Italy.
‘He wished me luck’
“I was in contact with him (Klopp) by phone before that. When the time came, he texted me. He wished me luck in that and said that I was a good player and a good guy.
“We never had any problems with each other, and we had a very good relationship. But I just wanted a new challenge, that’s normal in football. Jurgen helped me in this regard.”
Shaqiri has made a decent start to life in Ligue 1, with one goal and one assist from seven games.
After scoring against Troyes last month, former Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz told reporters (as quoted by the Daily Express): “He didn’t do the pre-season with us. The players do not fully understand his qualities and vice versa, but we can all tell he has a great left foot.
“Not only in the way he scored, but also in the balls he was able to give his partners or his crosses, which are extraordinary.
“He’s a really good player.”