Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri is set to be out of action for another while after returning to Switzerland for treatment on his recent calf problem.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the 28-year-old Swiss winger is undergoing treatment in Basel on a calf injury he sustained prior to the Reds’ Carabao Cup win over MK Dons last month, since which he has been out of action.
According to the Liverpool Echo, he is still “some way away” from returning to full fitness and has been spending time with his family, who live in Basel.
Shaqiri has endured more than his fair share of injury torment in recent months, having also missed the start of Liverpool’s pre-season programme due to a previous calf problem sustained while playing for Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League finals in June, as noted by the Liverpool Echo.
While the winger was fit enough to make the squad for the season-opening Community Shield in early August and came on as a substitute against Manchester City that day, he has still been restricted to piecemeal snippets of occasional action, with a paltry 25 minutes of game time prior to the calf injury he incurred last month. [via TransferMarkt]
Even when available for selection last season, Shaqiri frequently found himself on the bench, starting just 11 Premier League games for the Reds in 2018/19 and coming on as a substitute 13 times. Since a December 2018 flurry of four goals in three weeks, he has not scored in a Liverpool shirt.
He will have seen team-mate Alisson returning from a calf injury of his own against Manchester United on Sunday after 10 weeks on the sidelines, which may give the Swiss international an indication as to an estimated recovery time, although the nature of the players’ respective calf problems could be different.
With Mohamed Salah not fit enough to feature for Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, that could have been Shaqiri’s chance to start on the right wing, but his absence forced Sadio Mane to move from his usual left-sided role for the second game in succession.
While Shaqiri’s lack of goals in 2019 may suggest that he hasn’t been effective enough when given opportunities, he has been quite unfortunate with the timing of his current calf injury.
Instead, he will need to be patient not just to recover from injury, but to try and forge his way back into Klopp’s plans – something that may become even more difficult if Salah quickly adds to his six-goal tally for the season.
Liverpool fans, how disappointing has it been to see Shaqiri injured and do you think he can forge his way in the team when he is fully fit? Comment below with your views!
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