Jose Enrique has suggested that it’s “likely” Lazio have already made contact with Liverpool over the future of Xherdan Shaqiri following the player’s comments regarding his desire for an Anfield exit.
The 29-year-old forward has come under fire alongside fellow underperforming attacker Divock Origi for his limited contributions last term, with the pair failing to register a single league goal between them in the prior campaign.
“With Xherdan Shaqiri coming out and saying he wants a new challenge, and name-dropping Lazio to Italian journalists, it likely means the club have already been in touch for him,” the former Liverpool star told Empire of the Kop.
“And what he’s now done is put a little bit of pressure on the owners. If the money isn’t right, maybe Liverpool aren’t happy with what another club has offered, the best thing a player can do is to apply pressure.
“I believe Shaqiri is a great player, he performed really well at Euro 2020, but the problem he has is that he’s injury prone.
“The style of football Liverpool play is very intense, high pressure, and it doesn’t really suit him – he can’t handle playing four or five games in a row.
“But he could obviously be a better fit in another team that that maybe doesn’t press as much, a team that has more of the ball.
“Italy is the perfect place for Shaqiri, it’s more tactical over there, and he could be a very, very good player for Lazio, if that’s actually where he goes this summer.”
Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliott are exciting options waiting in the wings, though the latter’s youth does invite some concern over the club’s goalscoring capabilities should Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino falter once more.
There seems to be some amount of dispute over the Swiss international’s asking price, with Sport1 journalist Florian Plettenberg claiming that the player’s price-tag is under €10m – a fee that contrasts heavily with Neil Jones of Goal’s estimation of £15m.
Shaqiri’s exit is nonetheless one that is necessary should we wish to bring in a non-homegrown player in the window (Liverpool would still need to offload another star in that category to leave a spot free).
It would be a shame to see the former Bayern Munich star leave given his obvious talents, though we could certainly do with a more reliable backup option to keep the pressure on the first-choice front-three.
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