Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has this afternoon moved to shut down the speculation surrounding the future of Xherdan Shaqiri.
Hit-and-miss debut Liverpool campaign
28-year-old Swiss international Shaqiri made the move to Anfield in the summer of 2018 from Stoke City, for a fee of £13.5 million.
The former Bayern Munich man was brought in to add depth to Liverpool’s front-line, with his performances over the first-half of the season having suggested another inspired piece of business on the part of the Reds’ board.
By the turn of the year, Shaqiri had already racked up 6 goals and 3 assists across all competitions, including a match-winning brace after being introduced off the bench versus Manchester United in December.
The second-half of the campaign, though, proved a different story.
Amid a dip in form, the gifted left-footer struggled for game-time, with Shaqiri having failed to find the net once since the turn of the year.
‘A very important player’
And the opening months of the new season have not proven much kinder to the Swiss star.
To this point, Shaqiri has managed just 3 appearances across all competitions, for a paltry total of 14 minutes on the pitch.
This is partly down to a persistent calf problem, but Shaqiri, overall, has yet to truly establish himself as the kind of option whom Jurgen Klopp can depend on week-in, week-out.
As such, speculation has inevitably begun to mount of late that the attacker could be on the move in the near future.
Jurgen Klopp, though, has today moved to quell such talk.
When drawn on the rumours surrounding Shaqiri’s future by reporters, the Liverpool boss assured that the 28-year-old ‘has a future’ at Anfield:
‘Why should I talk about something which is absolutely not interesting for us.’
‘He was five weeks injured and that is a period when he is not seen as a player. Before that we spoke about him not having as many games as he wanted to. But that was pretty much all.’
‘When I am with him he is completely happy and fine here and speculation is speculation. It is nothing we can change. I have no idea what I could say about that.’
‘Of course he has a future but we speak about the future always until the season ends and then maybe a player is coming to me or not but no-one thinks about that. This season he is a very important player for us.’
Quotes via Goal