When Stoke City were relegated back to the Championship, there was no way Xherdan Shaqiri was going to be remain at the bet365 Stadium.
A clause was in place in his contract to help him quickly escape, and Liverpool took full advantage of the situation by signing him.
It raised a few eyebrows, since there was no denying the Switzerland international wanted to play first team football, and with both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in his way, it looked complicated.
While he has played, the 28-year-old hasn’t featured anywhere near as much as he’ll have hoped to, especially this season, as he has only made six Premier League appearances during the 2019-20 campaign, the latest of which being a one minute cameo against Tottenham back in January.
Despite having also played for teams such as Bayern Munich and Inter in his career, Shaqiri still hasn’t lived up to the early potential from his days in Basel, and Arno Rossini, a former Swiss defender, feels he simply hasn’t done enough to earn any recognition.
Talking to Tio in Switzerland, he said of the player’s current season: “A misery. This, taking everything into account, makes me think he’s not one who always gives his best. If not as a starter, he could have at least carved out a role as an important reserve, as first choice from the bench. Instead, nothing.
“Only crumbs for a disheartening situation. Of course, Xherdan is filling his trophy case and seeing his bank account grow dramatically. In ten years time, I don’t know how many will remember him thinking about the great teams in which he has played”.
It’s even more of a shame for Rossini, as he admits the Liverpool player ‘has a lot of quality’, but only shows up for ’15 minutes out of 90’, and ‘certainly doesn’t push the manager to put him on the pitch’.
He added: “Xherdan is not a champion. He is a good player who has had the fortune of being a soldier in winning teams”.
As for what he feels the future holds for Shaqiri, Rossini said: “If they manage it, Liverpool will unload him immediately. It’s not simple. The high salary, the frequent injuries and the fact of not having proved anything does not make him highly sought after.
“I think the Reds will eventually be forced to keep him for three years. Maybe they can send him on loan to some club that will agree to take on at least a part of his wages, but a full transfer, that seems difficult to me”.
Tio then point out that Shaqiri, contracted until 2023, will be 32 by the time his current deal with Liverpool comes to an end.
Rossini added: “And if he continues like this, you can look back and experience mixed feelings. He will be able to bear the successes achieved by his teams, for which he should, however, turn a little red as well as perhaps have regret, having lived a career not as a protagonist, and he could have.
“Could. But at that age, where do you want him to go? Maybe he’ll return to Basel, maybe he will get closer to the Swiss banks, where he has secured his assets”.