Ex-England striker Paul Mariner claims Liverpool’s purchase of Xherdan Shaqiri last summer is solid proof of Jurgen Klopp’s effective transfer blueprint.
The Reds have been very quiet in the current transfer window, with 17-year-old defender Sepp van den Berg the only player to join Klopp’s ranks so far, for a fee of £1.3million – as per BBC Sport.
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Liverpool finished a single point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League last term but added a sixth European Cup to their collection after a dramatic 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the final.
Klopp’s men are expected to challenge for silverware once again in the 2019-20 campaign, with or without any extra reinforcements, despite fears from fans and experts that their major rivals will be stronger after adding to their own squads.
ESPN pundit Mariner insists that Shaqiri is proof of Klopp’s efficient transfer policy at Anfield and Liverpool supporters should have no fears ahead of the new season.
Shaqiri moved to Anfield from Stoke City for a modest fee of £13m in 2018 – as per the Telegraph – and he quickly became an important player for the club, competing alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for a regular spot in the starting XI.
“Where do you need to strengthen and how much are you going to spend to strengthen at the level that Liverpool, the European champions, want to be at?” Mariner told ESPN FC, as quoted by the Express.
“Look at [Wilfried] Zaha, [Crystal Palace are] wanting £80m-odd for him, he’s never an £80m-odd player.
“So you’ve got to be strategic. Look what he did with picking up Shaqiri at £13m, it was a stroke of genius.
“[He didn’t play much in the second half of last season because] he had a bit of a fall out with him.
“So players are out there, it’s all about your scouting network. Klopp must be confident with what he’s got in the building.”
Unfortunately for the Reds, Shaqiri is a doubt for their Premier League curtain-raiser against Norwich on August 8, after sustaining a torn calf muscle while on international duty with Switzerland, according to a recent report by the Independent.
The 27-year-old will be a big miss for Klopp, especially with Salah, Mane and Firmino all granted extended breaks due to international commitments of their own over the summer.
Liverpool could yet decide to dip into the market again before it closes next month, but if not, they still have more than enough quality to challenge for major honours once again next year.
Klopp has overseen steady improvement at Anfield year on year and after finally picking up his first trophy in charge at the start of June, few would bet against him building on that success in the coming months.