Leicester City: Making the case to sign Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

During the 2018-2019 Premier League campaign, only Divock Origi and Mohamed Salah provided a better goal contribution per 90 minutes for the Reds than Shaqiri. The Swiss international provided an average of 0.76 goals and assists per 90 minutes – as he ended the season on 6 goals and 3 assists in just 1,064 minutes of football.

Unfortunately for Shaqiri, these numbers didn’t propel him into the starting XI, in fact, during the 2019-2020 Premier League season his average minutes have even plummeted. The Reds have seen just 223 minutes of action from the former Stoke City man, an average of 30 minutes per game, in comparison to the 44 minutes in the previous season.

Brendan Rodgers would be looking at Xherdan Shaqiri initially as a bench player, which is the unfortunate by-product of performing off the bench – players like Javier Hernandez and Olivier Giroud have been met with this curse throughout their playing careers, but with the intention of transitioning him into a potential starter.

One of Shaqiri’s best attributes is his flexibility in playing positions. Arguably, his best position is right wing or in Brendan Rodgers’ 4-1-4-1, right midfield. But, throughout his playing career, Shaqiri has played as a left midfielder and as a number 10/second striker. It’s this exact reason that makes him such a threat off the bench, he can excel in a wide array of positions and only take up one spot on the bench.

His small stature, only standing at 5’6” gives him an incredible centre of gravity. He’s agile and very content to use only his left foot, which could be seen as a negative, however, similar to the likes of Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi, Shaqiri is very adept at shifting the defenders to allow space on devastating left foot.