Xherdan Shaqiri has officially been announced as the newest signing for Liverpool Football Club and in his first set of press photos as a Red reveal that he will be sporting the number 23 at Anfield this coming season. Shaqiri has used that same number as a member of the Swiss National Team, most recently in the World Cup.
Shaqiri’s signing represents a good depth and rotational piece for the club. Coming into the offseason, one of the items on the LFC to-do list was to find depth on the wing and Shaqiri is precisely that. Traditionally having spent his time on the right, he likely represents a rotational option for Salah as well as an option off the bench when fresh legs might help to unlock a stubborn defense.
Unlikely to unseat anyone in the front three, Shaqiri will have work to do to find a regular place beyond the substitute’s bench, but is, at least to this scribe, well-suited to that role. The loan potential for finding space immediately in the starting XI would be to fill a similar role as Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain as the furthest forward in the midfield three. It’s not a position that Shaqiri is necessarily known for, but his skillset coupled with the need would mean there’s at leas the potential for him to see some time in that role.
Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, had nothing but bright things to say and even tipped to Shaqiri’s versatility as one of the reasons he was so keen to bring him in.
“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.
“I know him well from his time in Switzerland and especially Germany – I have been a long-time admirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Premier League and what it takes to perform in this uniquely intense environment. He also did really well at the World Cup – so he comes to us full of belief and confidence.”
Well, it’s now official-official and Reds fans can now shift their focus to debating where Shaqiri will fit and how he might fare at Anfield. Welcome to Merseyside, Xherdan!