With the Potters suffering relegation, reports in the national newspapers suggest that Liverpool are at the front of a queue containing Everton and Leicester City to give the Switzerland World Cup star an immediate Premier League return. Shaqiri to stay at Stoke is 29/4 with RedsBet
Jürgen Klopp is familiar with the Swiss international from both of their times in the Bundesliga. Shaqiri was at Bayern Munich when Klopp was managing their rivals Borussia Dortmund. Adjusting to life at a big club wouldn’t be a problem for him, given he has also played at Inter Milan.
There are several merits to this transfer, though I am not personally a big fan of Shaqiri myself. He would cover the wide positions for certain. Though he prefers to play on the right of a front three, he is also capable of playing on the left and that bit deeper in the top of a midfield three. I just don’t think he has the fitness or the discipline required to play in a Jürgen Klopp team.
We’ve been heavily linked with Lyon skipper Nabil Fekir all summer and this link is being made at a key time in terms of negotiations with the French outfit. Is the Shaqiri transfer talk simply being used to flush the French team out and get them to come to the table?
I can understand the cynicism. After the astute purchase of Andy Robertson from relegated Hull City this time last year, I’m not one to downplay Klopp’s ability to spot a bargain from a struggling club. But Shaqiri has not stood out to me as anything but a player going through the motions at a team that has had no constant identity for the last couple of seasons. However, he did chip in with 8 goals and 7 assists in a miserable season for Stoke.
Perhaps this link has appeared in an attempt to get Lyon to sit down and negotiate a sale of their highly coveted captain.
One thing certainly going in Shaqiri’s favour is a complete awareness of the humdrum of the Premier League. There’ll be no need for an acclimatisation period after three seasons at Stoke City. He also possesses a mean free kick, which is something we don’t currently have a lot of since Philippe Coutinho’s departure in January. That is certainly one area in which the Reds can improve.
It is also a watchful, reasonable price and our recent transfer strategy does seem to be linked quite heavily to those who have contract issues. The situation is certainly in our favour at the moment with a relegation release clause in his contract.
If the tail end of the season demonstrated anything, it was that our wider squad needs work and a transfer like this would make sense in that capacity. Our front three is set in stone but outside of that, there’s a shortage in quality. Shaqiri is far from my first choice (which is Wilfried Zaha, for the record) but he is certainly an improvement on our current options.
For the money at stake, this could be a very viable purchase for the wider squad. As I say, I am not a massive fan of his and I don’t think he would fit into the way we play. He’s not particularly fast, seems to lack directness and I do question his fitness, although the latter can be worked on. As a rotation option, someone who doesn’t expect to start every week, then I will be reasonably pleased with this.
We have been linked with Moses Simon of Gent in the last few days and like Shaqiri, he is a wide player. It certainly looks like Klopp can see the gap that the fans do which is very reassuring. That’s the area where we need to take action the most. We need more forwards and the goals that they bring.
With the beat journalists kicking the door down to confirm that this deal is true, I would hope that Shaqiri is being brought in to supplement a deal for Nabil Fekir and not instead of him.