Life is surely better now for Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss forward managed to secure a £9.5m move to Lyon this summer after three stop-start years at Anfield. After struggling to consistently feature in Reds manager, Jurgen Klopp’s plans, the diminutive attacker has started seven consecutive games for the Ligue 1 side, a run that has seen him return a goal and an assist.
It is a good story for former a player who many Liverpool supporters believed should have been allowed to leave at least a year earlier than he did. The club hierarchy had reportedly hoped to recoup more of the initial £13m they paid to secure his services from Stoke City, but ultimately had to settle for Lyon’s offer in what has been—outside of the top talent—a depressed transfer market.
“I wanted to leave Liverpool sooner,” the 29-year-old said speaking to Swiss publication Watson.
“But I wasn’t allowed to, the club wouldn’t let me go. The important thing for me is that I’m gone now. There were also offers from Spain and Italy.
“I was in contact with him [Klopp] by phone before that. When the time came, he texted me. He wished me luck in that and said that I was a good player and a good guy.
“We never had any problems with each other, and we had a very good relationship. But I just wanted a new challenge, that’s normal in football. Jurgen helped me in this regard.
“I was very happy to be able to move to Lyon. I need a lot of games to be at 100 percent.”
Shaqiri leaves Anfield having made 63 appearances in all competitions, scoring eight goals and laying on for nine, including that special assist to Gini Wijnaldum to tie aggregate score against Barcelona in Liverpool’s sixth European Cup-winning season.