Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri joins Liverpool

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Yesterday, Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri joined Liverpool FC on a "long-term contract", the English Premier League club announced via their official website. According to multiple reports, Liverpool exercised the £13 million release clause in his contract with Stoke City.

File photo of Xherdan Shaqiri, 2015.
Image: Steindy.

26-year-old Shaqiri joined Stoke in August 2015 from Italian club Internazionale for a reported fee of £12 million. In three seasons at Stoke City, Shaqiri made 84 league appearances scoring fifteen goals, 92 appearances in all competitions for The Potters. Last season, Stoke City were relegated to the EFL Championship.

Shaqiri was the third signing of Liverpool this season. Club's manager Jürgen Klopp said, "I think the English phrase to explain the decision to sign Xherdan is a 'no-brainer'". Klopp went on to say, "I know him well from his time in Switzerland and especially Germany — I have been a long-time admirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Premier League and what it takes to perform in this uniquely intense environment."

Before playing in England, Shaqiri played for FC Basel in Switzerland, Bayern Munich in Germany, as well as for Internazionale. He won six league titles with Basel and Bayern, as well as the UEFA Champions League with Bayern in 2013, defeating Borussia Dortmund in the finals which were then managed by Jürgen Klopp.

Internationally, Shaqiri has scored 21 goals in 74 appearances. In this year's FIFA World Cup, Shaqiri played all four matches, before losing out to Sweden in the Last 16 knockout phase. He scored one goal in the tournament, a 90th-minute winner against Serbia.

Klopp also said of Shaqiri, "He has speed and ability, has the right amount of arrogance on the football pitch, real bravery to want the ball and influence things".

After signing the contract, Shaqiri said, "As a player, you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn't happen. I'm really happy that now I'm finally here. I want to improve myself too, I want to be with the best and I want to win titles. That's what I'm here for."

Shaqiri has been allocated jersey number 23. This season, Liverpool has signed Naby Keita from RB Leipzig and Fabinho from AS Monaco.