Liverpool have officially announced their third arrival and second signing of the summer with the unveiling of Switzerland and Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who arrives on Merseyside in a £13M deal following a strong showing for his country at the World Cup.
Shaqiri, now 26, has gone from one of the most promising young players in the game at Basel to an at times frustrating but clearly talented prospect at Bayern Munich to a rather disappointing part of a very bad Stoke City. At Anfield, he’ll be looking to set things right.
If he can rediscover the talent and potential he once had—and has shown in glimpses with the national team throughout his career—he could yet make a mark in club football, and a talented, uptempo Liverpool side will give him perhaps his last good opportunity at that.
It’s not a sure thing, though, and for all the hope he brings with him, there are at least as many doubts. Still, for £13M it’s hard to say he doesn’t provide value—and a clear upgrade on the club’s options at the position behind Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.
“I think the English phrase to explain the decision to sign Xherdan is a ‘no-brainer,’” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said following Shaqiri’s official unveiling. “When someone like him becomes available in this way you have to react if you are smart—and we have.”
“We are the perfect move for him in this moment as well I think, because he needs to push himself and challenge himself and our environment encourages that. We want him to express himself but also learn and improve the areas of his game where he can still make progression.
“From our perspective, he is someone who makes a big difference to the squad and team, because he can fit in so many positions in our system. He gives us greater flexibility in how we can use our current players also. This is cool.”