The minutes afforded to Xherdan Shaqiri could make signing players a little more difficult this summer.
It’s clear to see that Liverpool are happy with their first-team. Why wouldn’t they be? The starting XI feels nigh-on flawless, capable of beating anyone.
Tough, disciplined defence trying to keep the score down? Liverpool can break through. Pressure’s on, goals are needed? Liverpool find a way. Need a 4-0 win against the Spanish champions? Consider it done.
The first-team is not in need of replacements this summer.
What Liverpool do lack, though, is a bench to rival Manchester City. City, for instance, have the four most expensive wingers in Premier League history to choose from. In comparison, Liverpool signed Xherdan Shaqiri for £13m to offer depth.
That’s not to say he hasn’t done that. His goals, particularly around Christmas, were vital. Since then, though, Shaqiri hasn’t played too much.
The Swiss started Liverpool’s last two games of 2018 against Newcastle United and Arsenal. In 2019, he’s begun just four – two in the Premier League – featuring in just 11 games.
Of his seven substitute appearances, Shaqiri played over 20 minutes just twice. Considering Liverpool are looking for squad options this summer, that may be worrying.
Will players want to arrive knowing that Klopp prefers to stick to his tried-and-trusted XI? He’s not a coach that likes a lot of rotation and you’d have to rival Shaqiri, too.
Then there’s the returning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to contend with and possibly Rhian Brewster, too.
Whether you consider Shaqiri a successful signing or not, his game time this season may cause players to think twice this summer.