Why Xherdan Shaqiri Is Not a January Transfer Window Priority for Liverpool

Matt Ladson@mattladsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2015

Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland watches his team mates during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern and SV Werder Bremen in the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Liverpool continue to be linked with a move for Swiss attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, even if reports over the last few days seem to be very conflicting over whether he might join the Reds or Inter Milan, as explained by This Is Anfield.

Simon Jones of the Daily Mail claims Shaqiri will hold talks with Bayern Munich officials on Wednesday to discuss a move to Liverpool or Inter. Jones claims Inter are interested in a loan move, while Liverpool may not be able to afford a permanent deal this month.

It's perhaps "Sky sources" who are correct, claiming Liverpool are more interested in a deal in the summer and are happy for the 23-year-old to join Inter on loan for the rest of this season.

Shaqiri would be nice, but he isn't what LFC need
Shaqiri would be nice, but he isn't what LFC needDarko Bandic/Associated Press/Associated Press

Alas, it looks unlikely, then, that Shaqiri will be heading to Anfield this month, and as much as he might have been a welcome arrival on Merseyside, it makes sense that Liverpool aren't looking for a deal now, especially with potential issues over Financial Fair Play.

The truth is, the least of Liverpool's concerns this month and for the remainder of the season is bringing in an attacking midfielder, it's the one area the Reds are nicely stocked, with Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and even the potential recall of Jordon Ibe from loan.

Signing Shaqiri is the lowest of Liverpool's priorities.

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Undoubtedly, the highest priority must be acquiring a goalkeeper. While Brendan Rodgers may publicly insist he is planning on "little, if any" activity this January (as per ESPNFC) he must privately be desperate to strengthen his No. 1 position.

Simon Mignolet's problems have been well documented, and were evidenced again in the FA Cup match at AFC Wimbledon Monday night. The Reds continue to be susceptible to set pieces, and that can only begin to be eradicated with the arrival of a commanding goalkeeper who can withstand physical pressure on corners and free-kicks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Brendan Rodgers the manager of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield on January 1, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Of course, Petr Cech would be the ideal signing, whether that can happen or not, especially now Chelsea have allowed Mark Schwarzer to leave for Leicester City, as reported by BBC Sport, is a whole other question.

While a goalkeeper is a top priority, signing a forward isn't far behind either.

Again, Liverpool's goalscoring problems have been well documented this season. Fabio Borini, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have just one Premier League goal between them this season and arguably Liverpool could sign one new forward and let all three of them leave.

Options of Daniel Sturridge, Sterling and a new striker would seem far better than what Rodgers currently has available.

Borini seems the one most likely to leave, and whether that happens or not could be key to Liverpool's activity, bringing in vital finances to fund a new singing elsewhere.

Because Liverpool's problems don't just extend to in goal and up front, a combative central midfielder would be a welcome addition too. Although that falls lower down the priorities than the other two and will likely have to wait until the summer, when a rebuild looks to be in order. Again.


BERGAMO, ITALY - OCTOBER 29:  Head coach  of Napoli Rafa Benitez looks on duringthe Serie A match between Atalanta BC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on October 29, 2014 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Back to Shaqiri, and while the Switzerland international would undoubtedly improve the squad, it would be like Rafa Benitez's famous quote while at Valencia: "I asked for a table and they bought me a lamp."

Mind you, we sat here last January saying how Liverpool needed a holding midfielder and a full-back and all they sought to sign were two wingers—Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka—so who knows what Rodgers and his mysterious transfer committee have up their sleeve this year.

Surely, surely, though, they see the need for a goalkeeper this January—it really could be the difference between a top-four challenge or not, and it could subsequently save Rodgers his job.


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