Xherdan Shaqiri discusses future after first Liverpool season
Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has committed his immediate future to the Merseyside club despite a considerable lack of playing time.
Signed from Stoke City last summer, the Switzerland international featured sporadically under Jurgen Klopp during his maiden season, but he insists he is happy with his role.
Shaqiri at Liverpool: Five key things to know…
- Having suffered relegation with Stoke City in 2017/18, the forward was approached by Liverpool.
- The Reds activated his £13.5m release clause, but the 27-year-old mustered just 14 starts across all competitions.
- He was an unused substitute as Liverpool beat Spurs 2-0 in the Champions League final on Saturday.
- Shaqiri has struggled to supplant Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in Klopp’s attacking line-up, sparking rumours of an exit.
- However, the diminutive forward has now rubbished any suggestion of a possible departure from Anfield this summer.
The 27-year-old has found minutes hard to come by at Anfield with Salah and Mane ahead of him in the pecking order, prompting speculation of a transfer away from Liverpool.
However, Shaqiri has since poured cold water on a possible move, reiterating his commitment to his current employers while acknowledging competition for places was always going to be tough.
“I’m at Liverpool FC, the best club in Europe,” Shaqiri told Goal.
“The manager has many good options and has to decide who can play. I knew before my transfer that the competition here is very tough.
“I have a long-term contract and I definitely will stay.”
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“I’m just proud and happy”
Despite only managing fleeting appearances in Liverpool’s run to their sixth European title, Shaqiri managed to play a pivotal role in helping the club reach the Wanda Metropolitano.
The forward had not featured since the group stages, but started in Liverpool’s dramatic second leg 4-0 turnaround against Barcelona in the semi-finals.
With Roberto Firmino and Salah both injured for the fixture, Shaqiri stepped up, and it was his scintillating cross that set up Georginio Wijnaldum to bring the scores level – and the former Stoke forward spoke of his pride in helping to bring European glory back to Merseyside.
“It’s a special moment for me standing here with the gold medal again,” he said.
“I’m just proud and happy. I think I contributed my part to the title.”