Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has blasted his ex-coach Jurgen Klopp for his lack of playing time in the previous campaign. The midfielder apparently felt underutilized during the German’s last tenure at Anfield.

Thus, he admitted he needs to step up his game in the upcoming season. The Hungarian international, who joined Liverpool in a $76m deal from Leipzig last summer, shared his thoughts before the Euro 2024 opener.

Szoboszlai’s debut season at Anfield was a mixed bag. After a promising start, his performance levels dipped in the latter half of the campaign; largely due to a hamstring injury that hampered his consistency.

Reflecting on his reduced role, Szoboszlai said, “I’ve just finished a difficult season. But since this was my first in the Premier League, I’m not dissatisfied with my performance. Although I definitely want to have a better season next time.”

What did Szoboszlai say about his role at Liverpool?

Despite the challenges, the 23-year-old remains optimistic about his future at Liverpool. He acknowledged the difficulty of adapting to England’s top flight but expressed a positive outlook on his performance and potential growth. “I usually think positively, so it didn’t bother me that I played a smaller role at Liverpool at the end of the season.

At least the chance of injury was lower, and I could focus on the European Championship earlier,” he stated.

Szoboszlai’s first-season statistics at Liverpool included seven goals and four assists from 45 appearances. While these numbers are respectable, the midfielder knows he has more to offer. With a new head coach, Arne Slot, coming in, Szoboszlai will surely be eager to prove himself and make a significant impact in the upcoming season.

Szoboszlai is currently at Euro 2024 captaining Hungary
Szoboszlai is currently at Euro 2024 captaining Hungary

Szoboszlai is currently at Euro 2024 captaining Hungary

How did fans and pundits react?

These comments about the player’s game time at Liverpool sparked a mixed reaction among fans. Some supporters were concerned about his apparent contentment with a reduced role towards the end of the season; especially as Liverpool’s title challenge faded.

One fan expressed frustration, saying, “Hope that’s been translated wrong because that statement is absolutely embarrassing if that’s what he actually said.”

“We were competing for four trophies and this guy was focused on the Euros?” inquired another fan. Yet another voiced the opinion that, “Great start but it kind of showed where his head was second half of the season”. Others, however, were more understanding, recognizing the difficulties of a debut season in the Premier League and hoping that Szoboszlai would come back stronger.

Szoboszlai’s performance for the Magyars at Euro 2024 also drew criticism. As the youngest-ever captain at the tournament, he assisted a goal in their 3-1 defeat to Switzerland. Nonetheless, he faced scrutiny from pundits like Andros Townsend.

Townsend criticized Szoboszlai’s attitude and energy, saying, “When you have got a player like Szoboszlai, he is your talisman, he is your captain, he is your leader, he is your best player. You need his energy, you feed off his energy, you need him to be positive. You can’t have him throwing his arms up, walking around the pitch with a face on him.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / HMB-Media