It must be tough for a player when they find themselves out of favour, even more so when the team is playing at an extraordinary level. It would be natural to wonder how you would even get a chance to re-establish yourself in the team.
Xherdan Shaqiri has largely been forgotten about at Liverpool this season. He’s had some injury troubles which haven’t helped, but even when he was fit he’s only managed 25 minutes of action over four appearances so far.
The front three of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino can’t be expected to play in every game, but it does look like Divock Origi has cemented his place as the primary back-up option when any of those three drop out. As a result, it possibly started to look like Shaqiri could be a prime candidate to move on in the next few months.
A recent report from The Mirror has indicated that the Swiss international still has a big future at the club. Their story contained some quotes from Jurgen Klopp, and they should provide a bit of comfort to the Liverpool outcast.
Speaking about Shaqiri’s future, Klopp said: “But why should I talk about something that’s outside? Speculation is speculation. Completely fine here. Of course he has a future here – this season he’s a very, very important player for us.”
He went on to add: “We are in this season, and for this season Shaqiri is an important player. When I’m with him he’s completely happy. It’s about getting the intensity back.”
It must be noted that he does make a point of saying “this season”, so it’s completely possible that his place in the squad could be under threat next summer.
Despite that, it does sound like he will get chances to impress as Liverpool go into the second half of the season. Origi has shown that if you take your chances, you will get to play more regularly and remain a part of the squad, and so that needs to be the inspiration for Shaqiri just now.
There hasn’t been any official word on when he should be expected to return to first team action, but those comments do make it sound like it could be soon and he’ll still have a chance to play his part.