Former Liverpool footballer Steve Nicol does not expect Xherdan Shaqiri to look for a way out of Anfield following reports the club have received offers for the Swiss winger.
Roma and Sevilla are said to have had loan bids rejected by the Premier League leaders – although BBC Sport claims he could be sold in the summer with Liverpool valuing him at £25.5m. However, speaking on ESPN FC, ex-defender Nicol suggested that Shaqiri is quite happy at Anfield and would rather play a smaller role for the European champions than get more game time elsewhere.
He said: “I don’t think he’ll leave Liverpool. He’s at the stage of his career now where he has to make a decision of, does he want to be with a successful team and play a bit-part role, or does he want to go and play?
“I’m beginning to get the impression that at this stage, particularly with the injury problems he’s had over the last couple of years, I think he’s just going to stay. He’s a great squad guy, clearly. He’s a great guy to have coming off the bench for 20, 25 minutes – so I think he’ll stay at Liverpool. I think he’ll think, ‘I’m in a good spot, there’s a great atmosphere, it’s fantastic, training every day is magic – why would I want to leave?’”
Does Shaqiri deserve to play more?
Shaqiri’s season has been blighted by injury, with the 28-year-old making just 10 appearances this term. However, one of those was in the Club World Cup semi-final last month, so he is hardly of little use to Jurgen Klopp when fit, particularly as he made the matchday squad in every Premier League match bar one last season.
Having scored on his first start in the league in the current campaign (in the Merseyside derby, no less), it seems as though Shaqiri could benefit from regular game time – wherever that may be. With a single minute of action under his belt since Christmas, it has certainly been a disrupted season for the wide man, and it may be hard to begrudge Shaqiri for looking for opportunities of more football.
Though while Nicol suggests Liverpool could remain an attractive place to play for the Swiss international, it seems that, either way, he can end up somewhere where he could happily produce the goods if he can keep himself injury-free.
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