Liverpool are currently embroiled at the centre of a title race, which is something the supporters never imagined would happen so soon after Brendan Rodgers taking over.
The pre-season target was to challenge for the top four and they’ve blown that out of the water by already securing a place in the top three, which means automatic qualification to next season’s Champions League group stages. After four years out of the competition, the five-time winners are back.
After several years of sitting a low as eighth in the Premier League, they’ve struggled to attract the quality of player that the Manchester City’s, Chelsea’s and Real Madrid’s can. Now, as they fight for the league title and are guaranteed European football at the highest level, they can look at the higher bracket of player.
Some names have been thrown about and figures in the region of £25 million have been rumoured, but one player in particular who wouldn’t command such a huge fee, and would offer a lot of talent right away with the promise of further untapped potential is reported Liverpool transfer target Xherdan Shaqiri.
Talk of the attacker moving to Anfield has slowed down in recent months but I suspect he will be on a list of targets should Liverpool miss out on prime targets Adam Lallana and Yevhen Konoplyanka.
He’s started just 10 games in the Bundesliga this season and at 22-years-of-age, fits the Liverpool’s owner philosophy perfectly. He’s clearly a proven talent as he’s shown it often enough for Bayern but he’s struggling to break into the first-team that boasts plenty of winners. Bayern Munich have quite easily the strongest squad in Europe so chances of him breaking through are slim.
Opportunities at Liverpool are far more easier to come across so a move to Anfield could be ideal for both player and club.
In his 17 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, Shaqiri has scored six goals and created 25 chances. That is actually a better chance creation than Thiago (20) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (19). His scoring record becomes even more impressive when broken down to goals per 90 minutes, which puts him ahead of both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Liverpool play a brilliant style of counter-attacking football with players talented with the ball at their feet. Shaqiri would slot right into that and be perfect for Rodgers’ system.
It would be strange to see his price-tag escalate above £15 million and that would prove good business for the Reds as they will strive to break the pack at the top of the league and challenge once again next season.
Shaqiri’s on-the-ball ability is unquestionable as he’s completed 30/48 take-ons this season – a success of 63%.
He has not had much of a chance to showcase his talent at Bayern but it is there. Visible glimpses of his ability and potential have been seen but not given a chance – just like Daniel Sturridge at Chelsea and Philippe Coutinho at Inter. Shaqiri would represent a good deal for Liverpool and another player capable of flourishing under Brendan Rodgers.