Xherdan Shaqiri absence hints at next Liverpool transfer move

Xherdan Shaqiri absence hints at next Liverpool transfer move

Jurgen Klopp was in full flow, describing what happens next for Adam Lallana at Liverpool as his contract enter its final days.

“The future is his future,” said the Reds boss. “And if we need his help on the pitch we can get it.

“He is there. He trains 100 per cent but as long as we don’t need it, he will just train.”

With Lallana in line to be one of the most in-demand free agents this summer, it is understandable that an agreement has been reached between club and player.

With Liverpool well stocked in the midfield department and already crowned as Premier League champions, selecting Lallana would only put him at risk of an injury that could scupper a summer move.

At the age of 31, the former Southampton captain is preparing for a new life away from Merseyside this summer as he aims to squeeze the final years out of his career at the top level.

But listening to the comments from Klopp, it is difficult to escape the feeling that such an agreement is in place elsewhere in the Liverpool squad too.

Xherdan Shaqiri was once more an unused substitute on Saturday as the champions dropped points for the first time at Anfield for 18 months.

A 1-1 draw at Burnley was a frustrating afternoon at the office for Klopp and his players as the Premier League winners saw a 24-game winning sequence ended against Sean Dyche’s limited yet spirited side.

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Shaqiri was left on the bench and made to watch on as the Reds struggled to break down a durable Burnley in the second half at Anfield.

Even allowing for the fact that five substitutes could be made, Klopp left the mercurial talents of the Switzerland star in reserve. It was the same story six days earlier as Liverpool toiled in their efforts to find the breakthrough against a struggling Aston Villa.

Liverpool are Premier League champions

It took until the 71st for Villa’s goal to be breached as Shaqiri, who was back on a Liverpool bench for the first time since January, looked on.

It could be argued that Klopp is simply utilising other areas of his squad, with both Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino earning starts since the resumption of football last month.

But could it be true that Shaqiri is being left unused to preserve his fitness after a lengthy lay-off?

Shaqiri, of course, was attracting interest from both Sevilla and Roma back in January although Liverpool steered clear of entering into negotiations with Klopp feeling he needed everyone on board as a special season began to shape itself.

Anfield sources privately made it known they would listen to offers this summer, however, and considering the 28-year-old has played just a couple of minutes of football since the turn of the year, it is unlikely that stance has changed since.

A versatile attacker with ample quality is perhaps the ideal profile for Klopp in this summer’s transfer market and there would be a school of thought to suggest that Shaqiri would be perfect if he were on the market elsewhere.

But given he’s made just one start in the Premier League this term, Klopp will be justified in thinking he can get by without the former Stoke star’s services.

With Liverpool, like almost every other club, adjusting to the revenue hit taken by the suspension of football over the last three months, Shaqiri may yet prove to be a valuable chip in market dealings.

If the Reds are able to command anything near the £25m valuation they placed on him at the start of the year, that should, in theory, boost the coffers for a club that is aiming to dust their title-winning squad with more depth and quality.

The break in play had offered Shaqiri a chance to get fit and re-establish himself at Anfield, but a half-dozen games into the restart and the player is still awaiting a return to the pitch.

Two years and a day since he first signed, the writing, now more than ever, is surely on the wall for his Liverpool career.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

Alcohol maven. Incurable pop culture specialist. Communicator. Gamer. Certified explorer.

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