Is This Liverpool Star On His Way Out Of Anfield Soon?
Various reports in recent weeks suggested that Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri could be looking for an exit from Anfield due to his lack of playing time for the European champions. However, the Swiss international has been told by the management that he has a big future at the Merseyside club and will be a key player for them in coming weeks. The Swiss winger dubbed as 'The Alpine Messi' recently returned to training having been side-lined for almost six weeks with a calf issue that has troubled him for quite some time.
The former Bayern star has been restricted to limited first-team football this season, one of the reasons behind his lack of playing time being his recurring injuries. However, with Liverpool set to enter a hectic period that will last for almost two months, manager Jurgen Klopp has told the 28-year-old that he will get plenty of first-team football during the period.
"He has been really long injured, I think five weeks, so to get the match fitness again that takes time,” said the German boss in a recent interview when asked about his star player.
“He trained this week and we gave him some different things to do but that is it, apart from that he should be completely fine. There is no reason to rush it but it is nice to have him back. We saw a lot of really nice things in training this week but it is intense for him and he needs to get used to the intensity again and everything will be fine.”
Klopp added about the same: “Yes, he offers an option in attack, but he needs to be fit for that. That is all we are concerned about at the moment. He was out long and he trained and was really good in moments and in other moments it was different to the rehab stuff he did before.”
He further talked about the round of fixtures and what Shaqiri could do for them, “All good, the most intense period is coming so he will be ready for that hopefully if nothing happens again and you will see him on the pitch, 100%. Why should I talk about something which is absolutely not interesting for us.”
“He was five weeks injured and that is a period when he is not seen as a player. Before that we spoke about him not having as many games as he wanted to but that was pretty much all. When I am with him he is completely happy and fine here and speculation is speculation, it is nothing we can change. I have no idea what I could say about that.”
Talking about his potential move away from the club, Klopp concluded the interview by saying, “Of course he has a future but we speak about the future always until the season ends and then maybe a player is coming to me or not but no-one thinks about that. This season he is a very important player for us.”
Since the day Liverpool signed Shaqiri from the relegated Stoke City on a bargain, he was never expected to become a key player at Anfield. The attacking midfielder was only signed as a backup to some of the other stars, who were up the pecking order. Even though he has struggled for starts thus far for the Reds, he still played a key role for the club whenever he was on the pitch and showed his quality in some crucial games.
One such example was his excellent brace from the bench against Manchester United to help his side win the North-West Derby last year. The 28-year-old also played a key role in Liverpool's amazing comeback against Barcelona at Anfield last year in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Liverpool did the impossible to complete an incredible comeback from 3-0 down without their star duo Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. In that game, Shaqiri starred showing his true quality and helped the team win it, though he was still not at his best. He was further instrumental in bits and pieces in helping his team win the Champions League title.
With that being said, he is a great asset to have in any squad. He has all the qualities that a top player needs, both on and off the pitch. Therefore, it becomes quite interesting to see whether the Kop main-man retains his services or not. A lot of players have been linked with a move to Anfield in recent times. If Shaqiri does indeed leave, then Liverpool will have to look at alternatives to bring in soon.
The champions of Europe are playing a great brand of football and only time will tell if the attacker moves away from a winning team or decides to stay longer. He has many factors to consider including lack of game-time.
He was wanted by Ligue 1 outfit Monaco in the summer transfer window. Despite that, the player decided to stay and fight for his spot in the team. With that being said, things haven’t really changed for him so far. Only time will tell what the future holds for one of the talented stars of English football.
Featured image credits: 90MIN