One of the most fascinating sub-plots of Liverpool’s upcoming season will be centred around Xherdan Shaqiri and whether the 26-year-old can make an impact at Anfield.
The Reds raised the eyebrows of some fans by signing the Switzerland international earlier this month, although Jurgen Klopp explained why, in his eyes, it made complete sense to bring him to Merseyside.
“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,” the German coach explained to Liverpool’s official website last week.
“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.
“Finally, Xherdan the person will fit in perfectly at Liverpool I believe. He has personality and drive – he is someone who will feed off the positive emotion of our crowd. He joins a dressing room of really good lads and I know they will welcome him with open arms and help him settle and integrate quickly.”
As we saw during the World Cup, Shaqiri is a gifted midfielder, capable of producing moments of magic with that left foot of his.
However, critics will argue that the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan player could - and should - have done more to prevent Stoke City from being relegated to the Championship last season.
Fans have created a chant for Shaqiri
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville blasted Shaqiri during the World Cup in Russia, branding him “unprofessional”. His brother, Phil, labelled him a “disgrace” days later.
The attack from the Neville brothers, however, will only endear him further to the Liverpool supporters, who will be desperate to see their £13 million new boy make his doubters eat their words this season.
Although it’s been less than a week since he put pen to paper on his five-year Liverpool deal, the club’s fans have already come up with a rather unique chant for their new No. 23 - but it’s divided opinion.
Inspired by the 2006 smash-hit ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira - see what they’ve done there? - it goes like this…
Full marks for creatively, lads. Here are the lyrics…
‘Oh Xherdan when you score like that
You make the Kopites go mad
So play right
Feed it to Salah and Bobby
He scores past the shite
His chips don’t lie
Down the right hand side
He’s class an
He’s Liverpool Swiss man
The response has been... mixed
As we said, the chant has divided opinion and it’s unclear at this stage whether or not it’ll actually got an airing at Anfield this season - although it *is* catchy.
Here’s how various football fans - including Liverpool supporters - have reacted…
What do you think of the chant? Have your say by leaving a comment below.