Xherdan Shaqiri was long on the periphery of Jurgen Klopp‘s plans, with an exit from Liverpool touted for some time and not just by the fans but from the player himself.
After three years as a Red, Shaqiri swapped the Premier League for Ligue 1 having joined Lyon in a deal worth £9.5 million during the summer.
It was a switch a long time in the making and the split was mutual, with Shaqiri already reaping the rewards with seven appearances in succession across all competitions for his new side.
So far, his role on the right wing has returned a goal and an assist, the latter coming on debut against Strasbourg last month.
It’s a far cry from his role at Liverpool having not hit the seven-game mark until four months into the 2020/21 season, with injury and his position in the pecking order making it so.
And those circumstances and the ones preceding it left the writing on the wall and Shaqiri confirmed he wanted to leave the club sooner but “wasn’t allowed” – with transfer offers and balancing the squad no doubt key factors.
“I wanted to leave Liverpool sooner,” Shaqiri told Swiss outlet Watson.
“But I wasn’t allowed to, the club wouldn’t let me go. The important thing for me is that I’m gone now. There were also offers from Spain and Italy.
“I was in contact with him [Klopp] by phone before that. When the time came, he texted me. He wished me luck in that and said that I was a good player and a good guy.
“We never had any problems with each other, and we had a very good relationship. But I just wanted a new challenge, that’s normal in football. Jurgen helped me in this regard.
“I was very happy to be able to move to Lyon. I need a lot of games to be at 100 percent.”
Liverpool were offered more than a few glimpses at his quality throughout his 63 games with the club and his move has been more than vindicated having show it off more consistently.
It’s no surprise that Shaqiri would have wished to leave Anfield sooner despite a “very good” experience but the Reds had to find the right deal and in the meantime, he was a valuable squad member.