Rejuvenated Xherdan Shaqiri hints at U-turn over Liverpool future
Xherdan Shaqiri says he is raring to go for Liverpool ahead of the new season and in an interview with the club’s website he did not mention leaving Anfield.
In an apparent change of tact, the Switzerland star now looks focused on winning major honours at Liverpool.#
Only last week the 29-year-old attacker revealed his time at Anfield was coming to an end.
Shaqiri has been ripe for a transfer for the last 18 months, but the former Basel man said he was ready for a new challenge very recently.
It appeared his patience at Anfield had expired and with Harvey Elliott primed for a chance in the first-team after excelling at Blackburn last year, both Shaqiri and Divock Origi were tipped to make way.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport (via Fabrizio Romano), Shaqiri revealed the Liverpool board had accepted his request for a “new challenge”.
“I told Liverpool board I feel ready for a new challenge,” said Shaqiri. “They accepted my decision and will now consider bids to sell me. Liverpool won’t stop me this summer.
“I’d love to come back to Italy, and I’d like to play for Lazio.”
But the Reds’ No.23 reported for pre-season training last week and Liverpoolfc.com have interviewed him.
Now, it’s clear they would have avoided all transfer talk, but his focus seems to be solely on Liverpool.
Asked how he was feeling, he said: “Good, good. I’m happy to be with the team again here. I’m looking forward to having a good pre-season and start a good campaign again.
“We had some holidays, the guys who were at the Euros or the Copa America. I’m a couple of days here and I’m trying to get 100 per cent fit again. I’m feeling good.
“It was a very good Euros personally and of course with my country. It was something historical what we achieved and it’s something special for my country. I’m very proud of this.
“It says to me the hard work I do every day and with my country. I’m very, very pleased and happy and proud, of course, to achieve this kind of thing. I hope much more is going to come.”
Asked if his exploits at Euro 2020 had lifted his spirits, he said: “I’m looking forward to the new season and hopefully we’re going to achieve what we want to achieve with this club.
“Our goal is always to win, to play for titles and to give 100 per cent on the pitch. Then we will see what happens. But, of course, we’re going to try everything to win.
Analysing how each Community Shield winner has gone on to perform in the Premier League…
Shaqiri aiming high
“Obviously we have a few players who were injured, they are back and they give us [an] extra boost for sure. The fans are going to be back again, I think, and that also gives us another boost to try to achieve our goals this season.
Neuhaus the man to replace Wijnaldum?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has recently “reaffirmed” his interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's midfielder Florian Neuhaus, as they look to find a replacement for the departed Georginio Wijnaldum.
“We know how Anfield is when we have a game and how they push us through the game and how many times we won the games or we came back with the fans – something special. Of course, it’s going to give us an extra boost.”
While Shaqiri is convinced Jurgen Klopp’s men can get back to competing for the title this season.
“Of course, yeah. We have [a] top-quality group and very good lads – this is also very important to have good characters. To achieve as a club, we need to stick together as a team.
“If we do that and if we give everything what we have with our talent on the pitch and fight together with the team then we can achieve a lot of things this season,” he added.
READ MORE: Liverpool ready to pounce amid long-term interest in record-breaking striker