Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri has finally joined Liverpool in a 13million transfer deal.
Shaqiri will be Liverpool’s new 23, joining the club’s other summer additions of Fabinho and Naby Keita, who officially joined the club on July 1.
The two midfielders have already made their Liverpool debuts at Saturday’s friendly against Chester, where they helped propel the team to a 7-0 victory, but it remains unclear how manager Jurgen Klopp will fit Shaqiri into his line-up this upcoming season.
Shaqiri usually plays as right winger, but has also made appearances as a left winger and in attacking midfield, making the 26-year-old a useful and versatile addition to Klopp’s side.
Here’s how Liverpool’s newest player could join the team’s new duo of Fabinho and Keita in the line-up.
4-3-3 with Shaqiri as Right Winger
This is the most likely formation, and Jurgen Klopp’s favoured set-up throughout his time at Anfield. Drawing from Klopp’s line-up seen at Tuesday’s friendly against Tranmere, Fabinho will most likely take his position in the No. 6 role, joined by fellow newcomer Keita in midfield.
Shaqiri can then give Klopp the option of rotating his front three and his natural position will be to play on the right, cutting in on his favoured left foot, allowing the Reds boss to rest Mohamed Salah, or move the Egyptian to a central position.
In a 4-2-3-1
Klopp’s experimented with this formation at Chester, and it would suit Shaqiri, as well as allowing the Reds boss to include Fabinho and Keita in a his line-up. Whilst Shaqiri would likely still be used as a right winger, Klopp could follow his Chester plan by having Fabinho sit deep alongside, say, Jordan Henderson, with Shaqiri joining Keita and one other behind a more orthodox forward. The Swiss star often played behind the front man at Stoke.
Shaqiri behind the front man
Shaqiri in No. 8 could be a possible option, as he does have a stronger record of scoring goals compared with some of Liverpool’s other midfielders, such as Adam Lallana. The Swiss star could drop in behind Roberto Firmino or Salah, allowing the likes of Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and others to stretch the play in wide areas. Fabinho could sit alongside Keita in a four across midfield.
A wildcard 4-4-2
This would be more of a left-field selection, as it’s not a formation Klopp has used a great deal during his time at Anfield. But it would also offer an opportunity for Shaqiri to utilise his skills as a left winger. Shaqiri could provide strength and skill from the left, and Klopp has a number of options to play from the right. This would also allow the Reds boss to push Salah further forward alongside Firmino.