Why West Ham should plot a January swoop for Xherdan Shaqiri
According to a report from the Sun, Xherdan Shaqiri has decided to skip Switzerland’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers to focus on his responsibilities with Liverpool.
Xherdan Shaqiri, 27, has made only one appearance for Liverpool this season, coming on as a substitute in the 3-0 Premier League victory over Burnley on Saturday. The attacker’s decision to reject national call-up clearly proves he is desperate to win his place back in the Reds team.
The Switzerland international started just 11 Premier League matches in 2018/19 following a switch from relegated Stoke City last summer. In all competitions, he made 30 appearances and contributed with six goals and five assists.
Despite Jurgen Klopp insisting that Shaqiri will have a major role to play this season, it looks unlikely to see the stocky attacker get opportunities ahead of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
With that in mind, West Ham, who were interested in signing Shaqiri earlier this summer, must reignite their interest and go for him in January.
West Ham already have an attack which has plenty of quality, but the sale of Javier Hernandez to Sevilla has opened up some space in the squad.
Regardless of the departures of Lucas Perez and Marko Arnautovic before the start of the season, Hernandez was behind summer signing Sebastien Haller as first-choice striker. The Mexican’s exit has left Manuel Pellegrini with lack of alternatives for Haller.
Well, Xherdan Shaqiri could be that player for the Hammers. The 27-year-old is a quality player who is a right-winger by trade, but can operate on the left, in midfield and as a number 10 too.
He possesses a brilliant turn of pace and his dribbling skills allow him to go past defenders with speed and precision. The ex-Bayern Munich man is a good passer of the ball and can shoot at sight whenever the opportunity arises.
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The Switzerland international possesses exceptional technique, and his final delivery into the box would undoubtedly help the Hammers improve upon the potency of their play in the final third.
Shaqiri can potentially form a strong partnership with the likes of Sebastien Haller, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals, whilst his wealth of experience of playing at the very highest level could prove to be invaluable for Pellegrini’s side.
It remains to be seen if Liverpool would be prepared to sell Shaqiri in midst of the season. Nevertheless, West Ham must test the Reds’ resolve in the winter transfer window.