One thing that is key for teams who are competing for multiple trophies is strength in depth, and that is something that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp secured this summer.
The signings of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri ensured that Klopp has at least two quality options for every position on the pitch.
Trent Alexander-Arnold picks up a knock? No bother, let’s slot Nathaniel Clyne in. Roberto Firmino isn’t fit to play? Draft in a revitalised Daniel Sturridge.
With all those players to choose from it’s hard to select a Liverpool player who stands out as particularly important, especially among those who are not guaranteed starters. But the one man who could hold the key to the Reds’ season? Shaqiri.
That may sound bizarre on the face of it and, yes, there are plenty of players more important to the Liverpool cause. Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk spring to mind. But in terms of an under-the-radar star who will play a big part this year, the Swiss international takes the cake.
It’s the versatility, as well as the talent, of the £100,000-per-week [Source: Spotrac] midfielder-cum-forward that will ingratiate himself to Klopp this term.
Capable of playing anywhere across the frontline, as well as in midfield, the 26-year-old will be vital in Champions League weeks. He will hold the fort and ensure that key players like Salah and Keita can have a break so that they’re fit for bigger games on the horizon.
There won’t be a big drop-off in performance either, that’s why Klopp signed him. The German knows that he can drop the former Stoke City man in whenever, and that he’ll get a good game out of him.
Shaqiri is capable of moments of magic, and we’re sure to see some of it on more than one occasion this season. In fact, if you need a reminder of his quality, merely watch the highlights from Switzerland’s 6-0 thrashing of Iceland on Saturday.
The Liverpool man was imperious, scoring once and setting up two more as Vladimir Petkovic’s side put the pesky Icelanders to the sword.
If Klopp wants to mount a serious Premier League title challenge, as well as compete for the Champions League and domestic trophies, he will need to rely on his squad players.
Shaqiri is chief among them, and the little Swiss magician is destined to play a huge part for the Reds in what is sure to be a massive season on Merseyside.