Xherdan Shaqiri would have missed the dramatic trip to Old Trafford this weekend if he’d been fit but now that he’s back in training, he’s available for Liverpool’s remaining five Premier League games.
The former Stoke City winger’s career at Anfield has been characterised by injuries that have seen him sidelined before returning only to remain benched due to the talent ahead of him in the attacking pecking order.
His technique and creativity have not been showcased often enough and as was revealed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Robertson during a ‘True or False’ bit for Sky Sports, Shaq has the best-left foot in the squad ahead of Mohamed Salah.
Football Insider reported last week that Shaqiri is set to leave the club this summer after ordering his agent to find him a new club.
The 29-year-old is searching for game time and Roma, Lazio and Sevilla are all touted as suitors who will likely need to match the £80k/week he’s earning at Liverpool.
Shaqiri was pictured in training on Tuesday afternoon after he was left out of the squad that travelled to Manchester on the weekend. The game was called off after anti-Glazers protests from United supporters made the environment unsafe for a football game.
The Liverpool forward would have missed the clash but now he will be in contention to face the Red Devils as well as Southampton, Burnley, West Brom and Crystal Palace. The Reds are facing an uphill battle to get back into the top four ahead of West Ham, Spurs and Chelsea.
The London clubs are above Liverpool but they have a game in hand. Even then, it’s going to take a miracle for the Premier League champions to navigate their way back into the Champions League places.
Shaqiri’s return to the squad might not impact Klopp’s starting XI too much but it will mean that the German manager will have his creativity as an option from the bench if Liverpool need a goal late on.
In order to break back into the top four, it seems as though anything short of winning their remaining five games will not be enough. Any more dropped points will likely see Liverpool go into the final game of the season against Crystal Palace without anything to play for.
This season has been decimated by injuries but Liverpool need to take accountability for their own poor performances.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been missing almost the entire season while Jordan Henderson has been missing since February when he had surgery to fix a groin injury.
Yet, the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum haven’t been at the levels they’ve reached in the past. Andy Robertson has also underperformed recently.
A summer break will do them the world of good with the exception of Gini, with the former Newcastle man expected to join Barcelona.