Opinion

Four years on…

After the push which nearly saw Liverpool become Premier League champions in 2014, Brendan Rodgers identified multiple targets to strengthen his team.

Before, during and after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a certain Swiss, who hit a hat-trick in Brazil, was identified as someone that would improve the Reds’ team.

Xherdan Shaqiri, then of Bayern Munich, was the subject of speculation and interest from the Merseyside club and a move to England was in the cards.

As the new domestic season approached, a move never happened and Shaqiri remained in Germany.

“I wanted to leave that summer and had offers from Liverpool and Atletico,” he told Spox in 2016.

“Brendan Rodgers called me several times before the World Cup. But Bayern forbid me to leave.”

A brief spell with Inter Milan, followed by three years in Stoke-on-Trent with Stoke City, occurred, and despite flashes of brilliance, suffered multiple injuries and netted 15 goals across three seasons.

On the ominous day that is Friday the 13th, the Swiss star sealed a move to Liverpool, penning a five-year deal.

“I’m very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I’m really glad and happy to be here,” he told Liverpoolfc.com

“As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn’t happen. I’m really happy that now I’m finally here.”

Shaqiri has the blueprint to follow in the footsteps of an Anfield favourite, Andy Robertson, who joined from a relegated side last season and was the third signing of the previous summer; This season, Shaqiri, like the Scot, is the third player to be added to the squad and joins from a relegated team.

Four years on from the initial interest, The ‘Alpine Messi’ has the potential to set Anfield alight, give a glimpse of his belated potential and show why the club were so keen to procure his services.

 

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