According to reports, Liverpool are interested in signing Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri in the summer.
The 26-year-old has a release clause in his contract believed to be between £12m-£13.5m, which can now be triggered, following Stoke’s relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Shaqiri has already admitted he has no interest in playing in the Championship but “would love to stay in England”.
Although Tottenham and Southampton are also said to be keen on the Swiss international, Liverpool must act swiftly and trigger Shaqiri’s release clause.
The Reds have already begun their summer recruitment drive, signing Fabinho from AS Monaco last month to strengthen their midfield. They also have Naby Keita set to arrive from RB Leipzig and are looking to step up their pursuit of Nabil Fekir, who could become a long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian leaving the Reds for Barcelona in January.
While the midfield would look dynamic, particularly if the Reds succeed in signing Fekir from Lyon, Jurgen Klopp should look to add depth to the forward line. The German tactician needs a player to provide an option in the attack and allow Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to rest whenever required in order to maintain their freshness throughout the season.
Shaqiri could be the solution to Liverpool’s problem. The 26-year-old was one of the rare shining lights in an otherwise dismal campaign for Stoke which ended in relegation. It is clear that Shaqiri’s career has somewhat stagnated since joining Stoke from Inter in 2015 and he needs to leave the club in order to reboot his career.
Liverpool would get an established player, who could add some much-needed boost to their attacking options. Tenacious, agile and creative, Shaqiri is blessed with electric pace and exquisite dribbling abilities, which can even terrify the best of defences in the league.
The Swiss wizard ticks a lot of boxes for the Merseysiders; he has the pace, can score goals and is also capable of playing anywhere across the forward line. The former Inter and Bayern winger tends to blow hot and cold but has the undeniable quality which would only enhance Liverpool’s attack next season.
Klopp’s men struggled towards the back end of last season as unfortunate injuries started piling up, thereby giving the manager a headache as to how to cope with the joint demands of the Premier League and the Champions League.
Believed to be available in a cut-price deal, Shaqiri’s pace on the break and unpredictability could give Liverpool a different dimension in the attack. For £12m-£13.5m, Shaqiri would be a real bargain in today’s market.