Should Liverpool sell Xherdan Shaqiri? The Reds don’t have an easy answer but the Swiss winger’s future is firmly up in the air.
Shaqiri rarely played this season, with injuries frequently keeping him out. He only started two Premier League games all season and only added five more from the bench. His Champions League record reads zero starts, one substitute appearance.
So while Liverpool were winning the league, Shaqiri didn’t play much of a part – save for a great display against Everton in early December that gave him his sole goal of the campaign.
The emergence of Harvey Elliott means there’s also competition on the right flank, too. Not just competition, in fact, but a teenager who represents a much better investment for any minutes. Shaqiri’s not going to improve much, after all, while Elliott will.
We imagine Liverpool would have sold Shaqiri in an ordinary summer. The Liverpool Echo said back in March, for instance, that the Reds put a £28m asking-price on the player.
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That kind of money would really help Liverpool out if they do decide to sell – but it seems highly unlikely that they’ll get it now.
The economic collapse may not hurt elite clubs too much but everyone below that will surely tighten the purse strings. Thus any club who once considered a £28m move for Shaqiri almost certainly won’t now.
And that gives Liverpool a problem. Will his value ever recover?
Shaqiri is very different to other players Liverpool could sell. Take Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson – both are in their early 20s and have enjoyed promising seasons.
Liverpool may have wanted to sell the duo this summer but as they surely won’t get the right fees, they can loan them out again. It’s possible things are easier in a year and clubs have money again. More than that, the right loans could even see their prices rise.
That won’t happen with Shaqiri, though. He’s 29 in October, meaning Liverpool are essentially selling a 30-year-old in a year. His price, if anything, could drop further than it already has.
Especially if he has another season on the sidelines. If that happened, it’s hard to see how Liverpool would get any decent amount if they decided to sell Shaqiri.
And so Liverpool have to decide how to make the best of things. They could hold onto him and decide that another season with Shaqiri around is more valuable than the potential transfer fee.
They could also opt to sell Shaqiri in a strange market and hope to get enough money to fund a transfer of their own.
There’s no easy answer and in truth, it may simply come down to where Shaqiri himself wants to be next season.