Wednesday 17 October 2018

'A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn't happen' - Liverpool complete signing of Xherdan Shaqiri

Liverpool complete signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City. Pic: Liverpool/Twitter
Liverpool complete signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City. Pic: Liverpool/Twitter

Liverpool have completed the signing of Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke.

The winger, currently on holiday after appearing at the World Cup, has agreed a "long-term" contract at Anfield.

It's understood it is a five-year deal, with Jurgen Klopp's Reds paying £13million to the Potters following their Premier League relegation.

"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," Shaqiri told liverpoolfc.com.

"As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn't happen. I'm really happy that now I'm finally here.

"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."

Shaqiri becomes the Champions League finalists' third summer signing following the big-money arrivals of midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho.

He will provide competition for the established front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Manager Klopp believes Liverpool are the "perfect" club for his new signing.

"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," said the German.

"He has speed and ability, has the right amount of arrogance on the football pitch, real bravery to want the ball and influence things. To play for us these are mandatory requirements.

"We are the perfect move for him in this moment as well I think, because he needs to push himself and challenge himself and our environment encourages that.

"I know him well from his time in Switzerland and especially Germany - I have been a long-time admirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Premier League and what it takes to perform in this uniquely intense environment."

Shaqiri, who has scored 21 goals in 74 games for his country, arrived in English football in the summer of 2015, joining Stoke from Inter Milan for a reported £12million.

The 26-year-old scored 15 goals in 92 appearances for the Potters, but was unable to help them retain their top-flight status last season.

After beginning his career with Swiss club Basel, Shaqiri won two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League during a three-year stay with German champions Bayern Munich, before an unsuccessful seven-month stay in Serie A.

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport