Xherdan Shaqiri has been linked with a move away from Liverpool this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to rebuild his squad.
What’s the story?
According to Turkish reporter Ekrem Konur, several teams across the continent are interested in acquiring the 29-year-old’s services, including AS Roma, Lazio and Sevilla.
It’s also claimed that the Anfield outfit are only interested in entertaining permanent offers for Shaqiri, with transfer funds expected to be limited due to the ongoing pandemic.
Klopp must sell
The Switzerland international arrived at Liverpool for just £13 million back in 2018 from Stoke City thanks to a relegation release clause in his contract.
His arrival was deemed to be an astute piece of business by the Reds as Shaqiri had won major trophies during his stint with Bayern Munich and had proved himself to be a talented Premier League force throughout his time with the Potters.
However, things have not quite worked out for the diminutive forward on Merseyside. A string of niggling injures have kept Shaqiri on the sidelines for large spells of his Liverpool career, limiting him to just 18 league starts in three seasons.
Alongside his fitness concerns, there have also been question marks lingering over the creative talent’s attitude and application for many years.
“I’m not a fan of Shaqiri, to be honest with you,” Gary Neville revealed ahead of Switzerland’s World Cup opener against Brazil in 2018.
“I think that was to be fair made worse by the fact that he distanced himself from his teammates at Stoke. They were unprofessional last season, there’s no doubt. And he epitomises it.”
Nevertheless, the £80,000-per-week gem is still capable of producing a magical moment on his day and has done sporadically throughout his stay with Klopp’s charges.
Important goals in victories over bitter rivals Manchester United and Everton rank just behind an assist in Liverpool’s famous Champions League semi-final second-leg comeback against Barcelona in Shaqiri’s highlight real, but they were individual stand-alone moments rather than a product of consistent quality performances.
If Klopp wants to wrestle his Premier League crown back from Pep Guardiola and Manchester City next season, then he must axe Shaqiri in order to make room for fresh legs to add new attacking impetus into his forward line.
Liverpool need a magician they can rely on, not one who’s likely to disappear for months at a time.