Thursday, September 29, 2022

Liverpool Winger Gathering Interest From Three European Clubs: Should Klopp Let Him Go?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur has claimed that Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri is gathering interest from three European clubs this summer. It is believed that Sevilla, AS Roma, and Lazio are all showing interest in acquiring the services of the Reds playmaker during the summer transfer window.

Shaqiri’s Bit-Part Role At Anfield This Season

Shaqiri has played a sporadic role in Jurgen Klopp’s match-day squad once again this season but deserves credit for putting in a few influential displays off the bench. The 29-year-old has registered one goal and four assists in 22 matches for the Merseyside giants this term across all competitions.

Despite making most of his appearances as a substitute, Shaqiri has caught the eye by averaging 0.8 shots, 1.4 key passes and 0.4 dribbles per game in the Premier League this season. The Swiss international has even been accurate when distributing the ball from midfield after making 87.2% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

The Gjilan-born sensation is still under contract at Anfield until the summer of 2023, so Klopp is under no immediate pressure to cash in on him this summer. However, the lack of game time and frequent injuries have disrupted Shaqiri’s Liverpool career, so he might be tempted with the opportunity to make a fresh start at the end of this campaign.

 Liverpool's Shaqiri gathering interest from European clubs (Shaqiri is seen in the picture)
24th April 2021 Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England English Premier League Football, Liverpool versus Newcastle United unused Liverpool substitute Xherdan Shaqiri during the pre-match warm up PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12283888 DavidxBlunsden

Should The Reds Let Shaqiri Go This Summer?

Shaqiri is quite fluid in the way he operates in the opposition half even though he doesn’t have the explosive quickness of some of his teammates like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. What has made the 89-time Swiss international such a great contributor off the bench is his ability to unlock the opposition defence with a killer pass in the attacking third.

At 29, Shaqiri might still have a lot to offer if he is willing to continue playing a bit-part role under Klopp’s stewardship at Merseyside. Therefore, Liverpool will be better off keeping hold of him for the duration of his contract as he can still be an excellent choice to call upon off the bench when he is fit and playing well on the field.

Plus, Shaqiri is still good enough to compete with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi for a place in Klopp’s squad in the coming seasons. With all things considered, the former Stoke City star’s versatility and terrific playmaking ability make him a good option for the Liverpool boss to consider keeping hold of beyond this summer.

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