This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Xherdan Shaqiri has endured somewhat of a frustrating spell since joining Liverpool, but he appears determined to change his fortunes.
The winger started just 15 games last season and has found himself in a similar position this campaign, having played just five minutes of the Reds’ opening four Premier League matches.
In an effort to increase his playing time he withdrew from the Switzerland squad, a bold move to make, but one that his national team manager Vladimir Petkovic doesn’t blame, due to the amount of international games he has played.
As a result, it is possible that the winger may choose to do the same again next month, particularly if he fails to impress Jurgen Klopp in the way he would have hoped for – although he faces a difficult challenge to start.
Though he is not short of quality, the ability of the playing personnel combined with the system that Klopp prefers makes it unlikely Shaqiri will become starter soon – with Mohamed Salah operating in his favoured right-wing position.
It is not the first occasion in which the Swiss has found himself out of starting contention, with his spell at Bayern Munich often seeing him reduced to a place on the bench, which resulted in him making a shock switch to Stoke City.
Having made that move once, he is now clearly determined to make a success of his latest stint playing at the highest level, and this latest move is sure to go down well with manager Klopp.
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Liverpool are likely to compete for both the Premier League and Champions League this season – they lost just one game in the former last term and are the defending champions in the latter – and will likely be forced to rely upon their back-up players at times.
As a result, if Shaqiri can prove that he is fit and has the desire to play and perform well, then he could be the first option Klopp calls upon if one of Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino is struck down by injury.
His dedication could well be rewarded eventually, then.