The Hard Tackle takes a look at three clubs where Xherdan Shaqiri can revive his career if he leaves Liverpool this summer.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s recent interview with Corriere Dello Sport has unravelled some much-needed details about his future, with the Liverpool forward confirming his impending exit from Anfield.
“I told Liverpool board I feel ready for a new challenge. They accepted my decision and will now consider bids to sell me. Liverpool won’t stop me this summer,” said Shaqiri, as he looks to take the next step in his career.
The Swiss international’s desire to leave Anfield is hardly surprising as he never really managed to make a mark after arriving from Stoke City in 2018. During his three-year spell with the club, Shaqiri has managed only 18 starts in the Premier League, with 11 of them coming during his first season at Anfield.
Despite impressive performances for Switzerland, the former Bayern Munich attacker has been largely used as a bit-part player by Jurgen Klopp. It has led to the player falling behind the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota in the pecking order.
A move away from Merseyside, therefore, makes a lot of sense for Shaqiri, whose starring role in Euro 2020 makes him an in-demand prospect in the market. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over three clubs that can give the 29-year-old an ideal platform to revive his footballing career next season.
After a disappointing spell at Liverpool, Xherdan Shaqiri will be open to a potential return to the Bundesliga. The forward had initially built his reputation at Bayern Munich, and though a move to Bavaria isn’t an option anymore, the attacker can certainly find himself suited at a club like Hertha Berlin.
The capital club from Germany is going through a disappointing period, having underperformed for decades. But that might soon change under the leadership of Fredi Bobic, the new sporting director, who has already masterminded the addition of Stevan Jovetic and Suat Serdar, while Filip Kostic is expected to join as well.
Often struggling at the wrong end of the Bundesliga table in recent years, Hertha Berlin may not provide much sporting success for Shaqiri, but the Swiss international will have the opportunity to become a focal point of one of the most reputed clubs in Germany, under a sporting director who had a proven track record at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Indeed, Shaqiri’s experience, leadership and goalscoring prowess should be an ideal boost for Hertha as they look to build the foundation of a successful team next season. The Old Lady have a strong side, too, boasting attacking talents like Dodi Lukebakio, Krzysztof Piatek, Matheus Cunha and new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng.
The prospect of living in Berlin should be a pleasing asset for Shaqiri as well, making Hertha Berlin an ideal destination for the Liverpool forward next season.
Lazio is the only club on this list that has been linked with a move for Xherdan Shaqiri this summer. Their new coach Maurizio Sarri was interested in roping in the former FC Basel starlet during the European Championship.
Those speculations have not gathered any pace, but in hindsight, Lazio could be another excellent option for Shaqiri this summer. Unlike Hertha, they can provide the 28-year-old with the prospect of playing in Europe, as they are competing in the UEFA Europa League next season.
Being based in Rome, Lazio are a capital club as well, which should go a long way in convincing Shaqiri. But from a sporting perspective, the Biancocelesti make an even better case, as they are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements amid speculations linking star player Joaquin Correa to England, with Everton and Tottenham reportedly interested.
The Argentine’s potential exit should pave the way for the 28-year-old to become a key player for Lazio. He can ideally become the club’s main chance creator, potentially forming a useful attacking partnership alongside the returning Felipe Anderson.
With Ciro Immobile, Shaqiri doesn’t have to worry about his chances going to waste either, as the Italian is regarded as one of the best in the business, not just in Serie A but in Europe. Moreover, Lazio are a far more competitive team than Hertha and are often in contention for a top-four finish in the Italian top-flight, making them yet another ideal destination for the Swiss international this summer.
VfL Wolfsburg are the best possible destination for Shaqiri for a multitude of reasons. For one, the Bundesliga giants can offer Champions League football, having finished fourth in the league last season.
They witnessed significant growth under the leadership of Oliver Glasner, but with the Austrian tactician joining Eintracht Frankfurt, they need a new leader who can help the team galvanise themselves under new coach Mark van Bommel.
Shaqiri fits the bill perfectly due to his past experience in the Bundesliga. His aggression and leadership should form the crux of the new-look Wolves attack, with the support of Wout Weghorst. Not to mention, the club has a history of bringing in Swiss players and their current stars in Kevin Mbabu, Renato Steffen and Admir Mehmedi all represent the national team.
It should make the job even easier for Shaqiri, although it must be stated that Mehmedi faces an uncertain future at the club. Nevertheless, van Bommel shouldn’t find any difficulties accomodating the Liverpool attacker, despite bringing in Lukas Nmecha, while retaining the services of Maximilian Philipp in the summer.
Ideally, the 28-year-old can occupy the number ten position in a potential 4-2-3-1 with Xaver Schlager dropping into central midfield alongside Maxi Arnold. Shaqiri should thus feature alongside the two wide attackers, hoping to provide the supply for Weghorst upfront, although van Bommel also has the option of unleashing either Daniel Ginczek or Nmecha.
Therefore, Wolfsburg are indeed an appealing destination for Xherdan Shaqiri. The player can not only remain in the Champions League but also return to the Bundesliga, a league Swiss players rate favourably.