Liverpool moved to sign Xherdan Shadqiri from Stoke City this summer after the Potters were relegated from the Premier League and its fair to say he deserved his chance to impress at a top-6 club after 3 impressive seasons in the top-flight.
The Switzerland international was Stoke’s sole source of divine attacking inspiration but he ultimately failed to single-handedly keep his side in the Premier League. Despite the presence of Mo Salah in the Liverpool squad, Shaqiri joined up with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield in July and he made an instant impact by scoring a sensational bicycle kick against Manchester United during a pre-season friendly.
But the new season hasn’t been too kind to Shaqiri thus far as he is yet to make a single start for the club. Shaqiri is yet to start and he’s only managed to come off the bench twice in Liverpool’s first four fixtures, wracking up a total of 27 minutes of Premier League football in the process.
The international break will lend him an opportunity to showcase his talent in front of the spotlight of the British media when Switzerland face England on Tuesday, but he will come up against Iceland on Saturday evening before playing the Three Lions next week.
In anticipation for the next round of international fixtures, Sky Sports‘ Charlie Nicholas delivered a set of predictions and he tipped Switzerland to record a 2-0 win over the Viking clapping giant killers, and he identified Shaqiri as their ‘main man’.
On the eveidence of Shaqiri’s form during the last three seasons and the calibre of the players within the Swiss squad, it’s fair to say that Nicholas is absolutely right to single him out as their most pivotal talent.
Shaqiri’s creative abilities became a focal point of Switzerland’s attack during the World Cup and it felt at times as if they were overly-reliant on the bullish wide-man.
Although he hasn’t been handed a sniff of the first team just yet by Klopp, he should be able to step up another level when the creative responsibility is reduced by the presence of world class attacking talents, such as Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.
The Liverpool fans will certainly hope so and it will be intriguing to see if he can give Klopp something to think about away from club football in the two upcoming international fixtures.
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