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 Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Although Shaqiri is seen as more of a winger than a wide midfielder, he prefers to pick the ball up in the middle third of the pitch, instead of the final third – natural starting position of a winger. Out of his 1,072 touches for Liverpool, 50.3% (539) of them have come in the middle of the park, he’s not just an end product, he wants to instigate play himself.

Another faucet of a Brendan Rodgers winger is having a commitment to the defensive duties of a wide player, such as tracking the oppositions fullback out of possession. Shaqiri doesn’t flourish in these statistics, however, he’s a good player in the press – although most of Liverpool’s team are impressive in the press.

Shaqiri has managed only 10 tackles over the last two seasons playing for Liverpool, in contrast, Ayoze Pérez has made 42 tackles this season, Harvey Barnes has made 20 and Marc Albrighton has made 12, in just 486 minutes of playing time this season.

Potentially, by subsidising the level of defensive responsibility with Shaqiri, Leicester City could find a wide player who boasts similar attributes to former starlet, Riyad Mahrez. Both prefer playing on the right whilst being heavily left-footed, and both enjoy great success at cutting teams open once attacking the inside half-space.

As with most transfer rumours that are being discussed during the uncertainty of the coronavirus lockdown, the focal factoring point is how much he would cost Leicester City. Two seasons ago, the Swiss international moved to Anfield for £13.23m, and with all the considerations listed above, still offers a good option for Klopp off the bench.

He would most likely cost in the region of £20m, which given the current situation of the Foxes, isn’t too expensive. For that, you get a player with two Champions League medals, a player who scored a hat-trick in a World Cup, albeit versus Honduras, plenty of Premier League experience, all whilst only being 28 years old.

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There’s definitely a case for this deal being a good one for Leicester City. I believe competition in wide midfield should optimise the performances of the players currently solidifying those positions, making the side increasingly competitive.