Liverpool newcomer Xherdan Shaqiri was at his influential best as Switzerland sealed a 6-0 win over Iceland in their UEFA Nations League clash on Saturday.
Shaqiri is yet to make his full debut for the Reds after completing his £13.75 million move from Stoke City in July, but has already shown promise.
An excellent pre-season was followed by a fine cameo in the closing stages of the 2-1 win at Leicester City, helping preserve a marginal lead at the King Power.
For Switzerland, however, he remains a key man, and played a crucial part in their thrashing of Iceland at the Kybunpark.
Interestingly, he took up the No. 10 role for Vladimir Petkovic’s side, and took the reins in a brilliant attacking display that saw him fuel the Swiss attack.
The 26-year-old drifted across the forward line, and was particularly impressive when dropping deep and threading passes through the deep-sitting Iceland defence for his fellow attackers.
His prowess from set-pieces certainly caught the eye, and his free-kicks led to two goals for the hosts, with Denis Zakaria eventually turning home for one and Shaqiri claiming another himself.
Shaqiri could have registered an assist from a corner on Ajeti, but the centre-back was unable to direct his header goalwards, though he had already netted on 71 minutes.
He also worked hard to keep the pressure up whenever Iceland looked to gain control, seemingly reinvigorated following his move to Anfield.
The final whistle blew in St Gallen with the score at 6-0, with Zakaria, Shaqiri, Ajeti, Steven Zubar, Haris Seferovic and Admir Mehmedi the goalscorers.
Already a firm favourite among Liverpool supporters, the new No. 23 was widely praised on social media:
Shaqiri is a real an all-around attacker. He is just all over the front line, and some if the time behind it.
— Shlomo Friedlander (@ShlomoPerry) September 8, 2018
Shaqiri's a red. He's bossing that Swiss attack
— LFCZA ?? ???? (@LFCZA) September 8, 2018
Does Xherdan Shaqiri even have bad games, like.. ever?
— Daniel I. (@DannLFCTR) September 8, 2018
Someone needs to make a Shaqiri compilation of this game. Probably his best game ever.
— . (@SerKunkka) September 8, 2018
— Bikram Paul??? (@IamBikramPaul) September 8, 2018
Shaqiri is an absolute freight train today for Switzerland. Hope he gets a bit more time, even in the midfield, for LFC.
— Nick Mercadante (@NMercad) September 8, 2018
Shaqiri has the start against Tottenham. He’s so so sick
— Callum (@CallumMoran10) September 8, 2018
Switzerland are next in action against England on Tuesday night at the King Power, but Shaqiri is already raring when the Reds return for next Saturday’s trip to take on Tottenham.
And speaking to the official Liverpool FC magazine, he insisted his new side should be targeting silverware this season—and that he is ready to aid their cause:
“The aim is for the club to win something—that has to be the goal of our team.
“We have to take every game and try to win it, then close out from your mind the last game you won and think: ‘OK, we go forward now and look to the next game.’
“It is like this that you win titles and I hope we are going to do that this year.
“First of all, we want to try to play very good football.
“But we also know it is not always the case that good football wins, so we need to know how to win games—that’s important—and to be competitive with other teams.
“As a new player I want to show my football. Most of the players know me already from the Premier League and from Bayern and I have a good amount of experience.
“I won many titles with Bayern and I want to try to give this experience to this Liverpool team which is still young and try to help them win something.”
With Firmino not set to report back for training at Melwood until Thursday, Shaqiri could be given an opportunity to start at Wembley—and Jurgen Klopp may see him in the No. 10 role.