Friday 20 September 2019

John Aldridge: 'Shaqiri's odd Ireland decision adds to mystery around out-of-favour Liverpool star'

Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri (Nick Potts/PA)
Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri (Nick Potts/PA)

John Aldridge

Xherdan Shaqiri will be absent from the Switzerland side that takes on Ireland in Dublin tomorrow, in a tale that adds to the mystery around this talented winger.

There were plenty of sceptics questioning why Liverpool signed Shaqiri last summer as he has a questionable reputation for being difficult in the dressing room, but made a huge impression in his first few months at the club and scored some vital goals as he added depth to Jurgen Klopp’s forward line.

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I can’t explain what has happened since them, but clearly Shaqiri has fallen out of favour at Liverpool and there was talk that he was looking to leave the club last month.

Now he has put his international career on hold after pulling out of the Swiss squad in slightly strange circumstances and there is no doubt his absence is a bonus for Ireland.

Shaqiri is a good player when he is at his best, so Ireland need to make the most of his absence as he can turn a game with a moment of magic.

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