Positives of Liverpool signing Xherdan Shaqiri
Liverpool Echo's Paul Gorst lists pros of the upcoming deal
- Adds depth
"Mane, Salah and Firmino blasted in a combined 91 goals last term to mark themselves out as one of the most feared forward lines across Europe. When one of the trio miss out though, the Reds' much-vaunted attack suffers a considerable drop in quality. Jurgen Klopp's wide options are virtually non existent. Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who is injured until November) are capable of operating wide, but the England internationals do their best work in a midfield three.
"Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi face hugely uncertain futures and are both centre-forwards and Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke managed just two goals between them last season. Shaqiri would add more depth to wide areas at a time where Liverpool are crying out for options. He is versatile enough to feature on either the left or right side of a front three, which would be a huge bonus for Klopp as he tries to steer a Liverpool team through four competitions next season."
- Scores goals
"Liverpool need more than someone who is merely used to playing on the flanks though, and perhaps Shaqiri has been earmarked because of his output in front of goal. Despite seeing his Stoke side relegated to the Championship, Shaqiri still scored eight times for the Potters and finished the campaign as their top scorer in the process.
"In addition to the goals, Shaqiri also weighed in with seven assists, which for side who only netted 35 times last season, shows how important he was to their attacking hopes. Mane (20), Salah (44) and Firmino (27) all know how to locate the back of the net, so any potential understudy must also chip in. Shaqiri perhaps ticks that box."
- Relatively cheap
"Football's transfer fees have never been as astronomical in 2018. The world record stands at £200m and Liverpool offloaded Philippe Coutinho less than six months ago for £142m. So to snare a Premier League quality winger for £12m would represent good business. Jurgen Klopp may not be keen on splashing upwards of £30m on back-up players, so a cheap move for the 26-year-old Shaqiri could be a shrewd one."