In a new series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How would Stoke City player Xherdan Shaqiri fit in at Liverpool?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Xherdan Shaqiri could have next season in the English top-flight.
Analysis: How would Stoke City player Xherdan Shaqiri fit in at Liverpool?
Xherdan Shaqiri is a player with tremendous potential. He has regularly shown his talents with the Switzerland national team. Unfortunately, Shaqiri has — for the most part — only shown glimpses of his talent at the club level.
After breaking through at Swiss club FC Basel, Shaqiri had a two and a half season stint at Bayern Munich. He never truly found his feet at the club and was sold to Internazionale in January 2015. The Nerazzurri only kept the attacking midfielder until the summer and he was sold to Stoke.
It was at Stoke that Shaqiri was expected to shine as a top player in Europe. Yet, three seasons after arriving, Stoke find themselves in the Championship after being relegated in 2017-18. The man that was supposed to lead them into European competition had actually helped them into the second division.
But there is still hope for Shaqiri, who shined once more on the big stage of the World Cup with Switzerland this summer.
At only 26, Shaqiri is actually coming off of his best season as a Stoke player. He played 36 times in the Premier League and scored eight goals. Shaqiri added a further seven assists for the Potters. It was another career high with the club. In all, Shaqiri contributed to 15 of Stoke’s 35 goals in 2017-18. Shaqiri was responsible for 43 percent of Stoke’s scoring.
The Swiss international was not the problem at Stoke last term. Without him in the team, Stoke may not have had a fighting chance at survival late in the season.
Shaqiri played 15 times as a traditional No. 10. He tallied three goals and five assists. Deployed on the right side, he tallied an additional five goals and three assists. It is on the right side that Shaqiri would be played by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. The pacey player would be used as a part of the midfield three and most likely as an alternative to Mohamed Salah as a right-sided forward.
Although Shaqiri is a good player, it feels like Fantasy Premier League managers would see the Swiss player come off the bench more than start. Liverpool have capable players in the team’s starting XI, and depth is really what Klopp needs now. Shaqiri would fight for a place in the team and give the side some competition. His addition may benefit the club more by the end of the year as he could see more regular playing time.
With Liverpool’s options in midfield and attack, Shaqiri is a player FPL manager would need to see play first before drafting him into their side.