The Swiss national team manager Vladimir Petkovic has revealed Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri told him he’s picked up an injury during pre-season in Austria.
Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum were called up for international duty for the Netherlands’ upcoming fixtures, and it was expected the winger would follow suit.
According to the reliable BLICK Sport, the boss intended to select the Liverpool man, but Shaqiri explained in a phone-call that he’s picked up an injury.
It’s a shame for the winger, with representing your country considered one of the highest honours in professional sports – but he now faces a race to be fit for the start of the Premier League season.
Shaqiri has been linked with a move away from Liverpool, but in a recent interview the Swiss flyer didn’t sound like he had his eye on the exit door.
“Everybody is excited to play again and to defend the season we had last season,” he told the club’s official website while on training duty in Austria.
“It’s very difficult but we try to achieve again a lot of things and we want to win a lot of games. We have the capacity, we have the team who is still hungry and wants to win many titles.
“Of course it’s different in the Premier League than others, and I had the pleasure and I’m very proud of what I achieved in Germany with these two [titles] and I know many countries now.
“But with Liverpool, to win the title last season was unbelievable, something different after 30 years for the fans and for us too.
“We are really excited and we always want to win every game but we know it’s going to also be difficult. The other teams also want to win, so I think it’s going to be an exciting season.”
Having players with experience of playing at the pinnacle of the beautiful game is important, even if Shaq doesn’t get as many chances a player of his quality warrants.
The Swiss flyer still faces an uncertain future, with Turkish giants Fenerbahce reportedly offering him a contract worth £35,000 per week.
That’s according to Fotomac, who aren’t the most reliable source for football news – but as the saying goes, there isn’t any smoke without a fire.