With Liverpool confirming the signings of Emre Can and Rickie Lambert this week, Gunnar Lemmermann looks at another transfer target for Brendan Rodgers and his transfer committee: Xherdan Shaqiri.
Following Southampton releasing a statement publicly ruling out any transfers until a new manager is in place, and Liverpool reportedly keen to get their business done early this summer, The Reds could switch their attention to 22-year-old, Yugoslavia-born, Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri.
Shaqiri, currently at Bayern Munich, started his career in the youth ranks at FC Basel in Switzerland.
He made his Basel debut as a substitute on 12 July 2009 in Basel’s 2009–10 season opening game against FC St. Gallen. He was part of the Basel side which beat Manchester United in a 2-1 win in the 2011-12 Champions League season where he provided both assists.
Since then the 5 ft 6 inch winger made the switch to German giants Bayern Munich where he won 2 league titles, 2 German cups and 1 Champions League medal.
Style of Play
By trade a left winger, it’s hard to pin down a definitive position for Shaqiri. He has an excellent footballing brain, is quick on his feet, can shoot and has good passing accuracy. Due to his intelligence and power he can be used on either flank, as well as a wing back and even a centre forward or second striker.
Using Shaqiri on the flank, his pace and movement would give give our Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho the chance to pick him out with his great passing and vision.
Shaqiri is more than capable of tracking back and help out his full back. And although he isn’t the most defensive minded wide-man around, he does get back when needed.
2013/14 Form Guide
The 2013/14 season was a successful one for Pep Guardiola in his first season with Bayern Munich. Winning the league title and also the German cup, while going out of the Champions League against Real Madrid did blot the copybook.
Bayern won 29 games, drew 3 and lost just 2, racking up an impressive 90 points, scoring 94 goals and conceding just 23. They finished 19 points above 2nd placed Borussia Dortmund, securing the title after just 27 games – a record in German history.
Shaqiri scored just six of the goals during Bayern’s record-breaking campaign and one during the cup-winning run, racking up a total of 7 goals in 26 appearances – of which just 10 have been in the starting eleven, 16 as sub.
“He doesn’t start for us but he is a very important part of the team. Basically he is our 12th player. A super sub.”
– Guardiola on Shaqiri
The player himself stated:
“It is clear that I cannot continue like this. If nothing changes, I will have to make some changes myself.
“I want to play in the important games as well and not just in the Bundesliga. I don’t want to go through another year like this.
“I only want to play for a major club. The Champions League is important to me. We will see what happens.
“England would be an option. If I were to leave Bayern, it will be for a foreign club. But it will have to be a club challenging for the title.”
Reportedly valued at around £15 million, Shaqiri could be an excellent (and cheaper) alternative for Adam Lallana. Obviously different player types, Shaqiri has been part of a title winning side since his youth and has played Champions League football. Experienced and four years younger than Lallana.
Linked with Shaqiri last summer, Brendan Rodgers could come in for him this year. Shaqiri didn’t want a move last season as he was hoping that with the new manager coming in (Guardiola replacing Jupp Heynckes), he would get more game time. With playing time hard to come by at Bayern Munich through the sheer talent on the flanks – Robben, Mueller, Ribery – the player would seemingly entertain a move now, especially with Liverpool back among Europe’s elite.
Do you think Xherdan Shaqiri would be a good signing for Liverpool? Let us know in the comments below.