In the summer of 2014, Liverpool were hot off the back of their closest title challenge in a generation, and about to lose the phenomenal talents of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Brendan Rodgers tried to fill that sizable gap in the attack force with the diminutive Bayern Munich reserve attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, only to be rebuffed by the German giants.
"I wanted to leave in summer by all means and had offers from Liverpool and Atletico," Shaqiri said in an interview ahead of the upcoming showdown with his former suitors. “Brendan Rodgers called me several times before the World Cup. But Bayern forbid me to leave."
The blocked move eventually forced Liverpool to take a (failed) gamble on Mario Balotelli, and it left the club and the player worse for wear.
Shaqiri did not have to wait long for his move away from Munich, moving first for a six-month spell at Inter Milan in January of 2015, before ending up at Stoke City for the start of the 2015/16 season. So, thanks for putting the kibosh on our move, Bayern.
Stoke City might not be the “big name” that Inter is, but Shaqiri insists that the training facilities in England are far better than in Italy.
"Inter's infrastructure is a shame to be honest. That such a prestigious club does not find a way to invest in its infrastructure is disappointing. The regeneration, analysis, training - in England it's much more professional."
Despite the move not panning out, it’s hard to imagine Shaqiri in Liverpool’s current starting XI, particularly once Philippe Coutinho regains full fitness. His 3 goals in 11 league appearances this season is a decent return, and it’s hard to say how those skills would translate with more threatening attackers surrounding him.
Still, while many fans might have been clamoring for Shaqiri in the summer of 2014, I don’t think many would trade him for the likes of, say, Roberto Firmino.