The Eagle Has Landed

The signing of Xherdan Shaqiri was completed earlier this week, and The Anfield Talk’s Robin (@robbiemac72) discusses the signing in his latest article.

Shaqiri came to the attention of the world with his goal scoring celebration against Serbia in a 2:1 Group match victory making the sign of the Albanian Eagle. Of Kosovar-Albanian heritage this was understandable as a young Shaqiri and his family had to flee the war torn country to seek refuge in Switzerland. His brother even plays for Albania. FIFA fined the player 10,000 Swiss francs for the unlawful gesture as political gestures and banners are banned by FIFA.

The Kosovo conflict of the 90’s was a war for independence from Yugoslavia as part of the series of the Yugoslav wars which involved Croatia and Bosnia fighting for and gaining independence. 90% of Kosovar Albanians were displaced during the war including Shaqiri’s Father who was also a political prisoner in Kosovo. The results of the war meant Kosovo remained under Serbian rule despite declaring independence in 2008.

He’s now come to the attention of the football world by way of signing for Liverpool FC. The new 26 year old £13 million signing is one that has pleased the fans and is adding depth to the squad.

A great addition for our League and Champions League campaign for 2018-19. The 5′ 7″ player is the same height as Lionel Messi and his physique has caught the eye of many putting it simply, he won’t easily be knocked off the ball. I remember watching Shaqiri playing against Liverpool twice last season in our 3:0 win away and our frustrating 0:0 draw at Anfield. Both games he didn’t really stand out, he looked lively but no one forecast him being a Liverpool player back then. Perhaps in a team with better support like ours he’ll excel and be more productive like he was at Bayern Munich surrounded by better players.

Speaking to shortly after sealing his switch to Anfield, Shaqiri said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I’m really glad and happy to be here.”

Klopp’s third signing of this transfer window alongside Naby Keïta and Firmino. Shaqiri is a player who’s already accustomed to the English Premier League having played 84 times in three seasons for Stoke City with 15 goals and 15 assists. Having been part of a Bayern Munich team that won the domestic double of the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and in the squad that won the Champions League against Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in 2013 Shaqiri has tasted silverware glory and is hungry for more at Liverpool.

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.

Having played for Basel prior to joining Munich he was at the Swiss club when Mo Salah was getting a trial at Basel.

”I don’t know him so well but he came to train two or three times, I trained with him. Then I went to Bayern Munich and he stayed in Basel.”

Although Brendan Rodgers did try to sign the player back in 2014 after Shaqiri fell out of favour with the then Bayern Munich Manager Pep Guardiola the German club blocked the move, he eventually went on a short six months loan to Inter Milan before finally ending up in the Premier League with Stoke.

An established Swiss International with 74 appearances and 21 goals including a hat trick at the 2014 World Cup against Honduras. Liverpool have attained a player reaching his peak. Wearing the No. 23 shirt formerly worn by Emre Can whom eventually found his way to Turin in one of the longest drawn out departures in recent Liverpool history. Fans can look forward to watch him in action against Manchester City and United in the preseason matches in America and in Dublin against Napoli.

Robin McNamara

Former journalist Insight Magazine Dublin & published poet. Currently work at Cartamundi Ireland. Liverpool fan since I was 10. Slowly embracing blogging or whatever this is.⚽️👍🏼✨

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