Lately there have been murmurs about Swiss star, Xherdan Shaqiri, gathering his things and leaving German league toppers, Bayern Munich. Shaqiri has been the bearer of many a goal and fast sprint for the side in the Bundesliga, but has perhaps felt that a change is in order after an uneventful season. However, all rumours have been quashed following Bayern’s decision to whip the price tag off his jersey.
22-year-old Shaqiri was a fruitful, ambitious prospect under the fastidious Jupp Heynckes regime, and was worth his weight in goals. However, since Spanish wonder-coach, Pep Guardiola, made his bed in Bavaria, the Swiss striker has barely been considered, simply starting 14 games, and only 4 of which lasted the full 90 minute quota (The Independent, July 2014). Though this might be the case, Shaqiri netted a healthy handful of goals and persisted to play the ball into the box particularly skilfully.
Furthermore, his hat-trick against the blundering Hondurans was outstanding and won Switzerland a place in the next round. His clear achievements are likely the reason behind Bayern’s Sporting Director, Matthias Sammer, recoiling and stating that Shaqiri will not be on the market during this transfer window.
I first discovered Xherdan Shaqiri back in the days of red shirts, gold trim at Bayern Munich. It’s the worst kept secret that I’m a fan of the team, and thus, his striking abilities amid a squad of predominantly German heritage and descent, were naturally going to stand out. The World Cup campaign of the Swiss was therefore a tad more intriguing to me, now that I could place a name to a face. Shaqiri is fairly short and appears to possess the strength of a tank or similar, yet he isn’t cloddish whilst on the ball; rather, his speed allows him to waltz past opposing players, fulfilling his role expertly.
I wasn’t surprised to hear whispers of Shaqiri wanting to deviate from Bayern Munich; his pitch time had been limited, whilst his World Cup performance placed him at the centre of the buzz surrounding all decent strikers. Interest had flocked in from both Liverpool and Roma, so his blatant charisma and knack with the ball had been spotted far and wide. His versatility on the pitch is undeniably his key quality, making him a popular point of interest for club bosses. However, despite not being in the main plans for Guardiola, with new recruits to the team, Shaqiri could be more readily planted into the starting line-up.
Bayern have undergone a fairly dramatic reshuffling of the squad, especially now that Toni Kroos is ready set to jet off to Spain to join powerful, menacing La Liga side, Real Madrid. Additional help from ex-Borussia Dortmund prodigy, Robert Lewandowski, young Spaniard, Juan Bernat, and Sebastian Rode will surely create a new energy and dynamic within the team, and hopefully something Shaqiri can relish being part of. I for one am glad he’s staying.
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