In these modern times, it’s rare for a football club to sign a potential game changer for £12.85million. But Liverpool may have achieved that very feat by bringing in Xherdan Shaqiri in the summer. The Swiss international had spent three years in the Premier League with Stoke City before the Midlands club was relegated to the Championship, amen.
Shaqiri arrived in Liverpool to a warm but curious welcome. Question marks surrounded Shaqiri’s ability to acclimate to the all for one and one for all mentality of a Jürgen Klopp squad. Liverpool’s press requires accountability. Every player has a role in the attack, defense and aggressively winning back possession.
But since Klopp unleashed the Power Cube, Shaqiri has looked more and more assured in the side and those questions are starting to be answered. It’s been a long and winding road for Shaqiri since he signed for Bayern Munich in 2012. But the player has been given another chance at a top club and under Klopp’s management Shaqiri looks like he might be about to show us his best.
“I don’t think anybody has an idea in the moment how good Shaq can be,” said Klopp.
“It’s not a criticism, it’s just how it is. I knew him when he was at Bayern and he was already an outstanding talent.
“He had a good first year, second year he wasn’t that good, but that can happen. Then he left. You can disappear a bit. Inter Milan and then Stoke.
“Thank God, he didn’t disappear. He always had his moments.”
Klopp remembers viewing a video of Shaqiri’s performances which Liverpool’s scouts edited together. The manager and his coaching staff were convinced enough then that there was more potential in Shaqiri and believed he had the right traits to excel in Klopp’s squad.
“When we cut them together it was really impressive with how decisive he was in these situations. Even when he didn’t score, he stayed in games.
“Signing him was a logical thing to do. He’s still not the finished article.
“He still has a lot of space for improvement and that’s really good. He gives us something different.
“So far we haven’t really used his set-pieces but they are outstanding. Obviously, we don’t get fouled there but at 0-0 you want someone to go down somehow around there only for him! That’s another plus. It will be good.”