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13th Jul 2018

Liverpool sign £13m Xherdan Shaqiri to strengthen attacking depth

Melissa Reddy

Liverpool have added depth to their attacking options with the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City on a five-year deal after activating his £13 million relegation release clause.

The Switzerland international interrupted his post-World Cup holiday in order to undertake a medical 0n Merseyside and finalise the terms of his transfer on Friday.

Shaqiri can operate in an advanced role across midfield as well as in the front three, which will enhance Jurgen Klopp’s ability to rotate his forwards.

The 26-year-old’s dexterity from set-pieces and inventiveness in possession will add variety to an already explosive attacking force.

“I think the English phrase to explain the decision to sign Xherdan is a ‘no-brainer’. When someone like him becomes available in this way you have to react if you are smart – and we have,” Klopp told

“He has speed and ability, has the right amount of arrogance on the football pitch, real bravery to want the ball and influence things. To play for us these are mandatory requirements.

“We are the perfect move for him in this moment as well I think, because he needs to push himself and challenge himself and our environment encourages that. We will want him to express himself but also learn and improve the areas of his game where he can still make progression.

“From our perspective, he is someone who makes a big difference to the squad and team, because he can fit in so many positions in our system. He gives us greater flexibility in how we can use our current players also. This is cool.”

Shaqiri, who joins Fabinho and Naby Keita as Liverpool’s new recruits this summer, scored 15 goals and as many assists in 92 appearances for Stoke.

He was previously at Basel, before spending two-and-a-half seasons with Bayern Munich where Klopp was was an admirer of his creative attributes while at the Borussia Dortmund helm.

A transfer to Inter Milan followed in January 2015, but he quickly traded them for the Potters that August.

Shaqiri, who will wear the 23 shirt previously used by the departed Emre Can, was desperate to join the Reds in 2014 – a move blocked by Bayern – and was delighted to finally sign for the Anfield side.

“I’m very happy to be here,” he said.

“It’s a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I’m really glad and happy to be here.

“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.”