As Liverpool take a break in their season, we look at the impact of Xherdan Shaqiri so far.
How it looked then
Liverpool’s signing of Shaqiri asked a lot of questions. Could he play the style? Did he have the right character? Did Liverpool need a £13.5 million player from a relegated side?
At the same time, however, there was an acknowledgment that he could fill a role.
Shaqiri’s technical skill and flexibility would make him a very helpful squad option – something Liverpool have lacked.
If he could step up, of course. He’d failed to keep a place in both Bayern Munich’s and Internazionale’s squads, after all.
Shaqiri at halfway
So far so good. Shaqiri has chipped in with six goals and a couple of assists at halfway, as well as providing excellent options in attack.
The 27-year-old has played a few positions already, featuring on the right, behind a striker, and in the middle of midfield.
Shaqiri has shown exactly why Liverpool bought him through his versatility and output. He’s silenced any doubts over his role and made his fee look like a bargain.
We’re only halfway, but Shaqiri has played an important part already.
Shaqiri’s future with Liverpool
Shaqiri is 27 now so it’s his immediate future that’s important. What that is remains to be seen, however.
We’re only halfway through the season but Shaqiri has shown enough to guarantee a place in the squad over the next few years.
The second half of this season will determine how prominent it is, though.
Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1 system this year does provide a place for Shaqiri in a way that last year’s 4-3-3 didn’t. It’s now his job to show that he can play a key role in that going forward.
But that’s only if his destiny is a starting role; he simply has to keep doing what he’s doing to secure a squad option role.
His versatility and technical ability mean he’ll have the latter going forward. For that reason, he’s been an excellent signing whether he imrpoves further or not.