Shaqiri’s spark is igniting at LFC
XHERDAN SHAQIRI SIGNS FOR LIVERPOOL FC FROM STOKE FOR £13.5 MILLION ON JULY 13th 2018
The Swiss International, now 27 years of age, signed a five-year contract after triggering his release clause. The former Stoke player signed in the summer of ’18 after the ‘Potters’ got relegated, and the former Stoke player hoped that this wouldn’t tarnish his reputation and leave any bad feeling behind him after leaving the club at such a time, but he admitted that Champions League football was his main goal again, and why not?
Prior to signing for Liverpool, Shaqiri had a very lucrative career, having won two Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, two German cups, and winning the Champions League. He also won three Swiss titles during his time at FC Basel.
Shortly after arriving on Merseyside Shaqiri said:
“People should remember where I played before, the qualities I have, and what I’ve achieved in the game. I played for one of the biggest teams in the world at Bayern Munich and again I am playing for one of the biggest clubs in England, so I don’t feel pressure from the Liverpool shirt. When I go back to Munich the fans show me that I’m loved, I want it to be the same here, why not a second time?”
DEBUT FOR LIVERPOOL
Shaqiri’s arrival didn’t exactly overwhelm the fans at the time but the Swiss playmaker has certainly made sure his presence has been noticed on the field now, and he’s become particularly important to the team of late especially with his impressive performances.
Shaqiri made his unofficial debut in July ‘18 against Manchester United during a pre-season friendly and went on to score an absolute cracker of a bicycle kick that any player would be proud of. Liverpool went on to win the game 4-1.
He made his official debut on the 12th of August against West Ham where he came on as a sub with the team winning the game 4-0. On the 22nd of Sept, LFC played against Southampton and Shaqiri won ‘Man of the match’ for his stand out performance on the day. He also excelled in his last PL game against Fulham with Liverpool winning 2-0. He not only bagged himself a superb goal he also won ‘Man of the match’ for his impressive display.
Klopp is an expert at signing players who he knows he can improve and work with, and obviously could see bags of potential in Shaqiri. He’s an extremely versatile player, even though his natural position is to play on the right-wing, he’s adept to use both feet and can therefore play on the left-wing too. He’s can also play a striker, and an attacking-midfielder which in my opinion is where he comes alive, becoming the link between our midfield and our forwards.
Whether Klopp plays at 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, Shaqiri can play either of these formations as he’s so adaptable. In a 4-3-3 formation he could replace any of our front three. His preferred position on the right-wing which could mean a direct swap for Salah, or play Salah as a striker and replace Firmino, or as he can play on the left-wing too – he could also be a direct replacement for Mane.
If Klopp decides to play a 4-2-3-1 formation then Shaqiri can slot right in as an attacking-midfielder, and this is where I believe we’re really lacking in our game right now. He could be the difference between the team reigniting our free flowing football again, and then the goals should follow suit.
This system suits him to a tee. His passing has been sublime which is one of his biggest attributes which tends to go unnoticed at times. He’s constantly finding spaces and can play perfectly weighted passes which is exactly what’s missing in our link up play between our mid-field and our forwards at the minute.
This would give our attackers more opportunities to fire goals home, and would enable him to get into goal scoring opportunities as well. He can also take free-kicks as he’s known to have a wand of a left foot and can rocket them home. It’s already evident that we are falling behind with our goal tally in the league even at this stage in the season.
Shaqiri spoke after a recent match saying:
“It takes time for me to understand what the coach wants and also for my team mates to understand me. I’m getting more minutes on the pitch now, and I feel I’m getting better. It’s great being back in the Champions League as this is what I wanted. It’s an unbelievable feeling for me to be at this level after what happened at Stoke last season. I’m settled now and showing my best form. It’s always important when you join a new club and play well, but also win games, and obviously we’ve been doing that”
HOW WELL HAS SHAQIRI PLAYED FOR LIVERPOOL?
Having played just 17 games, he’s managed to notch up 5 goals and 2 assists, but his performances are improving match after match. He’s already a firm fan favourite on the Kop and among the fans, and is definitely the player everyone is excited about right now. He’s exceeded all of our expectations, and even though there’s a hell of alot more to come from Shaqiri, right now he’s one of the “Reds” most important players. I, for one, cannot wait to see how his season develops, but I’m pretty sure it can only get better as the season marches on!
As the great Bill Shankly once said;
“Liverpool FC was made for me, and I was made for Liverpool FC”
If Xherdan Shaqiri’s start to his career at LFC is anything to go by, and this proves to be true, we could be in for many exciting times ahead and long may it continue!
Have a look at FOAR’s tribute to Shaq ?
Enjoy our tribute to Baby Shaq! ?
— Fields Of Anfield Road (@FOARsite) November 12, 2018