Football News

Xherdan Shaqiri shuns Switzerland to fight for Liverpool place

By James Richards

Published: 13:21, 31 August 2019

Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has opted to shun international duty with Switzerland in order to focus on getting into the Liverpool first XI.

The Swiss star will not travel to represent his country in their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Ireland and Gibraltar in September.

Why is Shaqiri not playing for Switzerland? Five key things to know…

  • The 27-year-old has played 82 times for his nation.
  • He played 24 times for the Reds last season in the Premier League.
  • This season Shaqiri is yet to feature in any top flight game.
  • Jurgen Klopp said he will be an important player for Liverpool this season.
  • Shaqiri is not happy being left out of the first-team XI.

Instead, the former Bayern forward will remain in Liverpool in order to focus his attention on breaking into the Reds’ first team.

Liverpool have started the season well winning all three of their matches to sit atop the Premier League table. Shaqiri is yet to feature, being an unused substitute in every game.

Despite this, Jurgen Klopp has admitted the Swiss star will play a big role this season.

“It’s the first four weeks of the season, that’s how it is. That’s probably the hardest period for players who are not [playing],” Klopp said at a press conference on Friday.

“In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way if he can keep the level he is doing at the moment.

“Of course he can improve like how everybody can improve, but it’s not about that – he doesn’t have to show anything special.

“We will need him, he knows that 100 per cent.”

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Even though Shaqiri is less than happy about his lack of minutes, Klopp insists he has not let it affect his performance in training.

Klopp added: “Is he the happiest player in the squad? I don’t think so. Can I see that on the training pitch? No.

“He is in a good mood, training hard, doing what he has to do and is ready for the moment when he has to help the team on the pitch.”

Liverpool will look to keep their perfect winning record going when they take on Burnley on Saturday afternoon at Turf Moor.