Liverpool’s U-turn on 29-year-old outcast’s future makes sense and here’s why


Why Liverpool are right to turn down Xherdan Shaqiri exit in January

According to the Daily Star, Liverpool have altered their stance on the future out-of-favour winger Xherdan Shaqiri, with the Reds expected to retain his services.

The 29-year-old had been heavily linked with a departure from Anfield during the summer but he ended up staying put after no club matched Liverpool’s £20 million asking price for the attacker.

A January exit looked likely given Shaqiri’s struggles with injuries. But it now seems that the reigning English champions have decided to keep the player.

Shaqiri joined Liverpool for a bargain £13.5million in the summer of 2018 after the Reds took advantage of a clause in his contract following the Potters’ relegation from the top-flight.

GW14 Ones to watch: Xherdan Shaqiri

The 29-year-old endeared himself to the fans with a stunning start to life at Anfield, registering 6 goals and 3 assists in his first 19 appearances during the first half of the 2018-19 campaign.

However, opportunities dried up for Shaqiri during the latter half of the season after Divock Origi emerged as Klopp’s go-to man from the bench. With Takumi Minamino joining the ranks in January 2020, the Swiss international slipped further down the pecking order.

He was pretty much a marginalised figure last term, starting just twice in the PL as Liverpool won the domestic title for the first time in 30 years.

Xherdan Shaqiri has been on the sidelines for the majority of this campaign (Getty Images)
Xherdan Shaqiri in action for Liverpool (Getty Images)

The writing seemed to be on the wall for Shaqiri after Liverpool signed Diogo Jota. The Portuguese international’s sparkling start to life at Anfield coupled with Shaqiri’s injury has left him in the cold.

Klopp has preferred Takumi Minamino and Jota as the alternatives to Firmino, Mane and Salah up top, with the Swiss star yet to start a single PL fixture for the Reds so far this season.

Having said that, however, Liverpool’s decision to keep hold of Xherdan Shaqiri this month makes complete sense. The Reds are already facing a grave crisis at the back following the injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. Having a useful squad option like Shaqiri would, therefore, ensure that Klopp doesn’t have to deal with a similar situation in the attacking department. 

Shaqiri’s importance has perhaps been heightened by the knee injury to Jota. With Origi also poised for an exit during the mid-season trading period, the Swiss international could well enjoy some involvement over the next eight weeks. 

liverpool fc v fc midtjylland group d uefa champions league
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield on October 27, 2020, in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Given the fixture congestion during the second half of the campaign, Liverpool need some squad options in all departments. They just can’t afford another injury crisis. The presence of a quality player like Shaqiri would allow Klopp to rotate his players up top.

Read More


In truth, Liverpool are under no real pressure to sell Xherdan Shaqiri in this window. The Swiss winger still has plenty of time left on his contract, which runs until 2023. Having said that, the Reds might as well keep him in their ranks heading into a hectic second half of the campaign and then make a decision on his future in the summer.