LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 22, 2018: Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates creating the first goal, an own goal by Wesley Hoedt, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

The 29-year record that proved Xherdan Shaqiri’s value to Liverpool

Xherdan Shaqiri has left Liverpool for Lyon after three years with the club, and though his role was relatively small a key stat has outlined how important he could be.

Having joined the Reds from Stoke in a £13.5 million deal in 2018, Shaqiri departed for Ligue 1 in transfer that recouped £9.5 million for the 29-year-old.

Arriving to bolster the attacking ranks, the Swiss performed to a high standard throughout his time at Anfield but was rarely considered a first-choice starter despite his versatility.

In 63 games for the club, Shaqiri scored eight goals and laid on nine assists, but his record is more impressive than it seems given the minutes he was afforded on the pitch.

Only 25 of his appearances came from the start, with the No. 23 only completing the full 90 minutes on nine occasions and coming off the bench 38 times.

Three years as a Liverpool player saw him total just 2,525 minutes of game time, with eight players clocking more than that last season alone – but whenever called upon, Shaqiri made his influence felt.

A statistic courtesy of Opta’s Michael Reid highlights that in the Premier League era, no player has averaged fewer minutes per assist in all competitions for the club than Shaqiri:

It is a record that extends to 29 years, with Shaqiri above the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah in his reliable creativity.

His tally of assists includes a particularly memorable one with his cross for Gini Wijnaldum‘s header against Barcelona, while his last was a sumptuous crossfield pass for Salah in last season’s 3-1 win at West Ham.

At Lyon, Shaqiri is likely to be given the regular role he desires, with the Ligue 1 club reportedly making him their highest earner after he signed a three-year contract.

And while he will no longer be wearing Liverpool colours, he will still be supported from afar having played a vital role in the Reds’ success under Jurgen Klopp.