Peter Schmeichel has brandished Xherdan Shaqiri a “child” amid a row involving the Liverpool forward and the Switzerland captaincy.
Shaqiri, 27, was reported to have been unhappy with Vladimir Petkovic’s decision to hand Arsenal enforcer Granit Xhaka the captain’s armband for the Swiss international team, resulting in the Reds attacker missing two Euro 2020 qualifiers last month [Mirror].
Manchester United legend Schmeichel has since hit out at Shaqiri for his behaviour, claiming that Xhaka has shown himself to be a more deserving captain for the Swiss side.
“I read that the captain question played a role in Shaqiri’s thinking.
“Although this has been denied in the meantime, nevertheless I found it strong that Xhaka said: ‘If Shaqiri wants to have the captain’s armband, he should take it.’
“Xhaka showed that he wants to be a leader even without ties – and gave the pressure to Shaqiri. That was brilliant of him. In contrast to Shaqiri, who behaved like a child.”
Shaqiri has hardly had a fun start to the season. The £80,000-a-week [Spotrac] attacker has managed just four appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, amassing just 25 minutes’ worth of game-time due to injury and the fact that he is down Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order. Shaqiri must have known before he joined the Reds last summer that it was going to be tough for him to get game-time in a team also containing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but he must have thought he would be playing more often than this when he is fit. Shaqiri is currently sidelined with injury and must be pretty down about missing yet more matches for Switzerland as he is one of his nation’s most talented players. It seems as though he might need to bury the hatchet over this captaincy issue because even if he was fit at the moment, there was a chance that he might not have been called up by Petkovic. Shaqiri’s lack of minutes at Liverpool and this issue does not suggest he’s the kind of player that Switzerland need at the moment, despite his talent.