Player Profiles: Xherdan Shaqiri
If you put Shaqiri’s career in reverse up to this point, you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking he’s had it perfect. However, this isn’t the case, as since the little Swiss’ move to Münich, his promising career has stagnated.
Xherdan Shaqiri emerged through the fabled Basel youth academy, after a rough childhood which saw his family forced to emigrate to Switzerland out of Kosovo. Impressive performances at the U-15 Nike Cup in 2007 attracted the attention of many clubs, but he decided to stay faithful to the red and blue of Basel.
He first developed his trade out wide and went on to score 18 goals and gain 19 assists in 92 games, despite the fact he was under 23. Rightfully so, Shaqiri was gaining suitors across Europe, and got his big move to the Bavarian giants, Bayern Munich. Despite playing a lesser role for the German team, he still tallied up 11 goals and 10 assists in 52 games in the Bundesliga.
Even though Shaqiri has always shown glimpses of his pure quality, e.g the venomous free-kicks he hits, it has never been consistent enough for him to be considered elite, or at least too good for Stoke. Liverpool look to be his most likely destination, with the Scousers looking to wrap a deal for under £20 million, it is clear Klopp is looking to beef up his attacking options and give his Senegalese and Egyptian starlets more rest.
He will provide Liverpool with a real threat in the front three within these rotation options. He will most likely operate on the right of the 4-3-3 Klopp favours, but as time goes on and Shaqiri starts to adapt to the Liverpool style, do not be surprised to start in any of the three positions up top, as his game is adaptable to each. Also, he gives Liverpool another valuable set-piece taker, as that has been lacking since the departure of Coutinho. With the reported figure that is being thrown around, Liverpool cannot really go wrong, and with the attraction of Champions League football for the Swiss, he really does not have an excuse to not perform, as he will be surrounded by players of similar quality.