On July 13 2018, Liverpool confirmed the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke City, with the attacking midfielder signing a long-term contract at Anfield.
The BBC reported that the deal cost the Reds £13m to trigger the 27-year-old’s release clause with the Potters.
Be sure to check out the incredible story of the man who rose from a Tanzanian refugee camp to become one of Australia’s biggest football stars in the video below…
With the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita to compete with for a place in Jurgen Klopp’s first team, Shaqiri was always going to have to fight for regular football. However, the 78-cap Switzerland international has produced a number of impressive performances this season, ensuring that he’s enjoyed his fair share of game time with the Reds.
So far this season, in the Premier League, Shaqiri has made 18 appearances – 10 of which have been starts. In that time, he has scored six goals and registered two assists. Two of those goals came as a match-winning brace from the bench against Liverpool’s bitter rivals, Manchester United.
Shaqiri has been a key creative force this season for Liverpool. According to WhoScored’s statistics, he has averaged 0.9 key passes per match. His ability to combine with the likes of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino has seen him quickly become an effective member of Klopp’s attacking contingent.
However, Shaqiri’s average of just 0.3 completed dribbles per game is surprisingly low given his technical skill and the flair he has shown in the past. If he has the confidence to run at his opponents with the ball at his feet, he has the capacity to beat them.
All in all though, Klopp’s gamble on the Swiss attacker has paid off brilliantly this season and must go down as one of the bargains of the summer – a real transfer masterstroke from the Reds.