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Transfer Battle: Xherdan Shaqiri vs Adama Traore

Liverpool and Wolves will be pleased with how they have started off this season, while both clubs will also be satisfied with the work they have done in the summer transfer market. 

The two Premier League clubs improved their backline and midfield with the respective additions of goalkeeper Alisson and Portuguese playmaker Joao Moutinho.

And, as well as at the back and in the middle of the park, Jurgen Klopp and Nuno Espirito Santo also managed to strengthen their teams in attack after signing Xherdan Shaqiri and Adama Traore.

But which club got the better deal?

Xherdan Shaqiri

With Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and the brilliant Mohamed Salah at his disposal, Klopp has the strongest forward line in the Premier League and one of the most efficient in Europe.

However, outside of the trio, the German coach is not blessed with a tonne of other quality options like what Pep Guardiola has at Manchester City, for example.

With the addition of Shaqiri, though, Klopp will hope that will soon change.

The 26-year-old was brought in from Stoke City back in July after Liverpool activated his £13m relegation clause (BBC Sport) with the expectation that he would be able to act as an adequate alternative to Mane and Salah.

From the right-hand side, Shaqiri often cuts in and drives towards the edge of the box where is able to curl a shot towards goal with his left foot, making him the ideal profile to act as cover for Salah.

Despite Stoke’s relegation to the Championship, last season was Shaqiri’s most prolific for the club with the Switzerland international scoring eight goals and assisting a further seven in 36 Premier League appearances.

TT Grade: C+

Adama Traore

Wolves broke their transfer record towards the end of the transfer window when they signed Traore from Middlesbrough for £18m (via BBC Sport).

And, while it is still early days, it is looking like £18m well spent.

Traore has yet to start a Premier League game for his new club with Nuno looking to ease him into the side but, in his few cameos, it must be said that the 22-year-old has been impressive and given Wolves supporters something to look forward to.

Traore, of course, came on from the bench in Wolves’ last match against West Ham at the London Stadium to score the winner and the game’s only goal, but that would not have been the only thing to leave an impression on his manager from his three Premier League appearances so far.

Traore has looked like a threat every time he has picked up the ball, driving at opposition full-backs in a truly frightening manner.

The Spaniard gave Benjamin Mendy — arguably the best left-back in the division — a hard time in Wolves’ 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Molineux last month and, if that was anything to go, then the newly-promoted side have a real player on their hands.

TT Grade: B

TT Verdict:

At this moment of time, there is no doubt that Shaqiri is closer to the finished article and is probably a better player than Traore.

That being said, considering the level Salah, Mane and Firmino are playing at, Shaqiri is condemned to being nothing but a bench player at Anfield.

The former Stoke City man looked sharp in pre-season for Liverpool, but has not contributed anything of significance since then.

In contrast, Traore has really stamped his authority on the pitch in the minutes he has been given and his impact has been felt.

Furthermore, Wolves looked to have got the player with the higher ceiling and the one who is likely to have a larger influence on their club’s season.

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