The Hard Tackle takes a look at three ideal Premier League destinations for Xherdan Shaqiri, as the attacker seeks a move away from Liverpool.
Liverpool are among the clubs who are expected to undergo a busy summer transfer window, as they look to not only bolster their ranks after a turbulent campaign but also offload the unwanted players, in an attempt to reshape the squad.
The likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi are widely expected to leave the club, with the former’s contract at Anfield expiring at the end of the season. Another player who could join these two with a move away from Anfield this summer is Xherdan Shaqiri, as per the latest report from Football Insider.
It appears the former Stoke City midfielder has instructed his agent to find a new club, where he can find regular game-time, which is hardly surprising as he has struggled with chances under Jurgen Klopp and has never really settled in at Anfield.
Although the Swiss international has already attracted interest from the Serie A, he could still be an asset for any lower-tier Premier League outfit, should he relish the opportunity to revive his career in England. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at three such Premier League teams that could prove to be an ideal destination for Xherdan Shaqiri in the upcoming season.
Crystal Palace will undoubtedly enter the market for a new attacker this summer as they brace themselves for the potential departure of Wilfried Zaha. The long-serving forward has once again been linked with a move to Arsenal and Tottenham, among other clubs, and unlike previous years, the club must cash in on him this time around, with the player’s contract expiring in 2023.
Zaha’s departure could create a massive void in Palace’s attacking unit that is already considered quite weak. And that is where someone like Xherdan Shaqiri could turn out to be a smart buy, as the Liverpool attacker can add the dynamism as well as the experience in the final third.
Indeed, the former Bayern Munich star can operate not only in an attacking midfield role but also out wide, giving Roy Hodgson the opportunity to use him efficiently alongside the likes of Eberechi Eze, Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke next season.
Leeds United could be another interesting destination for Xherdan Shaqiri as he seeks to take the next step in his career this summer.
The Whites have enjoyed unprecedented success in the Premier League since their promotion back to the top-flight, emerging as contenders to finish in top half of the table while exhibiting attractive, attacking football under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa.
It is a tailor-made environment for Shaqiri, whose shooting prowess coupled with a hard-working nature could tune in well with Bielsa’s tactical philosophy.
From a sporting perspective, the Liverpool attacker can offer the Argentine some much-needed versatility as he can operate in multiple attacking positions, meaning he can not only provide cover for the two wide attackers in Raphinha and Jack Harrison but also the attacking midfielders in Tyler Roberts and Mateusz Klich.
Shaqiri, though, will most likely be considered as a direct replacement for Rodrigo Moreno, who has been linked with a move back to Spain after struggling with injuries and lack of form since joining the club in a record fee last summer.
Aside from his versatility, what makes Shaqiri such an appealing option for Leeds United is his experience. The 28-year-old has made almost 130 Premier League appearances during his time at Liverpool and Stoke City while also winning a whopping 86 caps for the Swiss national team.
Shaqiri’s vast experience at the highest level of football could be useful for a Leeds United squad that does lack experience in the attacking unit. Considering Pablo Hernandez is nearing the end of his career and with Rodrigo on the verge of departing Elland Road, the 28-year-old Liverpool outcast could indeed be a gamble worth taking for the Yorkshire outfit this summer.
Last but not least, Newcastle United could fancy their luck on Xherdan Shaqiri in the upcoming summer transfer window, as the club is often known for its tendency to pull off surprising deals in the market.
While Newcastle United certainly are not the most attractive team in the Premier League, they do boast the services of some talented attackers including Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton.
In Shaqiri, manager Steve Bruce will find himself an experienced operator who can perhaps provide much better productivity than the likes of Almiron, Ryan Fraser and even Joelinton, as the Magpies do indeed need someone who can reduce the burden off of Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, as far as productivity is concerned.
Perhaps most importantly, the Swiss international may emerge as the leader Newcastle United so desperately need in their attacking department. As mentioned earlier, the Liverpool forward has a considerable amount of experience at the highest level of football, which could extremely useful as the Magpies look to rebuild after yet another mediocre campaign.