Nicknamed the Alpine Messi, the official FIFA website describes Xherdan Shaqiri as “unpredictable on the ball, adept with both feet, clinical in front of goal and possessing excellent vision.” Having joined Liverpool in July 2018 during the summer transfer window after the club triggered his release clause, Shaqiri made his first appearance as an LFC player in a pre-season friendly against Manchester United at Michigan Stadium in the U.S., scoring an unforgettable overhead kick in a 4-1 LFC win.
Shaqiri has yet to make his first Premier League start as a Liverpool player and has only played eight minutes thus far this season when he came on as a late substitute during the club’s opening day 4-0 win against West Ham United. Playing against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday at Anfield, it was clear that the unchanged Liverpool side were in need of a rest after starting three successive games and even Jürgen Klopp acknowledged that the team “lost the plot” in the second half.
After fielding the same players three games on the trot, I would say that it’s time for Klopp to change things up against Leceister City when the Reds travel to the King Power Stadium (Saturday, 1 September 2018 at 13H30PM GMT) and give the Kraftwürfel (‘Power Cube’) his time to shine; and, as Shaqiri and Sturridge linked up so well during pre-season, it would be great to see them start together!
Shaqiri has a knack for scoring spectacular goals, the ability to create chances out of nothing and he is a team player, ready to take on whatever opportunity comes his way. Speaking to the Liverpool FC Matchday programme magazine*, This is Anfield prior to this past Saturday’s Brighton game, it’s evident that Shaqiri’s message was meant for Klopp:
l am very pleased to be here and to have the chance to work with Jürgen too. I have known him a long time from when I was playing in Germany, and I knew it was the right thing for me. I had a few options but this felt right.
I am a player who can play football with a good technique and good vision. I hope that with the quality of players we have throughout the squad here it will be even better for me. l will enjoy playing with them and hopefully I can help this team to grow more and to achieve more things than in the last few years. The manager has brought a few players in this summer with very good quality who are going to help a lot. l think this team also needed a little competition in the various positions because that makes you better and makes you stronger so I am looking forward to the season and we have started very well.
l believe that I can play every position along the front line and the coach knows that. I played every position in the friendlies: I played as a nine, I played as a 10 and I’ve played as a winger, although with the coach you don’t really have wingers as you change positions every time with one player going inside and another player going out. That’s really good and I like the football the way the coach plays. It is perfect football for me too.
This is the Premier League and every game is a tough one. But we are all looking forward to them too because we want to achieve something and we have the quality in our team to maintain our standards until the end of the season.
And, Shaqiri will be an integral part of that quality. Here’s hoping we get to see a lot more of our Alpine Messi doing what he does best, this season.