Liverpool news Shaqiri letter shows true Liverpool happiness but sad ending likely MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Xherdan Shaqiri has made six Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season - but his influence is more than that suggested on paper
Breaking News ! "Yes! Yes! Number one!" These were the first words of Xherdan Shaqiri at Melwood after he was crowned Premier League champion with Liverpool. Club photographers could not help but capture the joy in the face of the Swiss international. Yet it has not been plain sailing for the Swiss international this term. Injuries have not helped his case under Jurgen Klopp but he has racked up less than 200 minutes of Premier League football. As gossip columns continue to link his name with a move away when the transfer window reopens, the title could well be his parting gift. Not that his reaction at Melwood was one of a man desperately unhappy with his situation. This was not his first championship - far from it - and he has been in this situation before. Shaqiri, at 28, added the Premier League to a trophy cabinet that already contained two Bundesliga medals and two Champions League crowns as well as two UEFA Super Cups and FIFA Club World Cups apiece. Not that this impressed everybody. Andreas Boeni, head of football at Swiss daily newspaper Blick, pointed out that Shaqiri played minor roles in most of these achievements. The Liverpool forward took it in his stride. His response was posted on social media the day after becoming champion of England. A simple image of him celebrating with his 17 career trophies accompanied by a short letter. Sign up for the Liverpool ECHO daily Liverpool newsletter HERE "Dear Blick and Andreas Boeni," he said. "While you are bored in the office, here is a picture for the next front page." He signed off with a kiss. Shaqiri would be forgiven for being frustrated. When winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in 2013 - his maiden campaign with the German giants - he missed just eight league games, scored four goals and assisted six more. In the Champions League he featured in all but one of the group games before being handed a miserly two minutes of action in the knockout rounds as Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund - managed by Klopp - in the final. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now The next season was similar. The winger featured in nearly every league game he was available for despite missing half of the campaign through injury and he played in both matches at the World Club Cup as well as the Super Cup victory over Chelsea. But again Shaqiri was a bit-part player in Europe.
. In the knockout stages of the Champions League for Liverpool last season, he played just 90 minutes. We all know how that ended. They were potentially 90 of the most famous minutes in the history of the club and Shaqiri - starting against Barcelona in the semi-final second-leg due to injuries suffered by both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino - assisted Gini Wijnaldum for the third goal that equalled the tie on the night.
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Nobody in Liverpool would dare say Shaqiri had played a bit-part role in their eventual triumph even if, on paper, he had. Klopp has repeated it on numerous occasions during his time in charge and reiterated the point this week in fact. Every squad needs a Shaqiri and Liverpool are no different. "If you are a football supporter, you want a backup for him and him, even if you are completely happy with everyone, you want backups," he explained. "We have a lot of...we don't have a first XI, I say we have a first 16 or 17, they can all play to the same level." Shaqiri has proved time and again that he is capable - on his day - of playing to the standard required by Klopp. He is simply unfortunate to find himself behind three of the best forwards in the world and unable to craft a groove for himself. But what about Barcelona? That double against Manchester United? His showing against Everton in December? They give Shaqiri every right to enjoy the success he has achieved on Merseyside. Yet while Boeni and Blick have missed the point, his Liverpool ending is still likely to be a sad one. It is sad because he is still probably going to leave and he has never let Liverpool down when they have needed him most. Klopp, you would suspect, might want to keep him - especially in an uncertain financial landscape - but in the prime of his career Shaqiri will know his worth. He will know he can go and be a star man elsewhere.
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For now, his reaction to winning the title suggests he is happy on Merseyside but if he does leave he will not need to write a letter to Liverpool. It may only be six appearances in the Premier League this term but everybody connected with the club knows it is more than that. After all, without Barcelona and the Champions League victory that followed, would Liverpool have had the confidence to pick themselves up and challenge again domestically this season? That Premier League title could be the perfect kiss to sign off with.
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