Xherdan Shaqiri is already close to winning over the Lyon fans after ending a frustrating period at Liverpool during the summer transfer window.
The 29-year-old was a surprise acquisition for the Reds during the summer of 2018. The Anfield giants paid stoke City £13.5m for his signature, with the Switzerland international penning a five-year deal. It always seemed as though the midfielder would play just a peripheral role with the Merseysiders.
And that is exactly how things turned out. He made 11 starts among 24 Premier League appearances in 2018-2019.
At the end of that season the former Bayern Munich star picked up a Champions League winners medal. He did not face Tottenham in the final but did feature against Barcelona in the epic semi-final victory.
Game time diminished over the next two campaigns, with two league starts in 2019-20 and five last term. He was not helped by a number of injury problems and a move away seemed best for all parties concerned.
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Lyon paid Liverpool €6m for his services, with Shaqiri inking terms until the summer of 2024. He has enjoyed only limited opportunities with the Ligue 1 side to date.
The ex-Inter Milan star has played just 75 minutes of league football for Les Gones.
But he is already ‘causing ecstasy’ in the stands, according to Tagblatt (via Sport Witness), after assisting a goal on his debut against Strasbourg.
The outlet goes on to label the schemer as a ‘phenomenon’ despite his French career only just beginning. And he is on his way to ‘conquering the hearts of the fans’ at Groupama Stadium.
Shaqiri feeling the Lyon love Shaqiri was part of the Liverpool side that won the Premier League title in 2019-2020. However, the Swiss ace played only 181 minutes of that campaign.
In total he scored eight goals from 63 appearances in all competitions – many from the bench. The Lyon faithful seem keen.
They could be heard singing his name and his ‘thumbs up’ response caused the chants to ‘really take off’. And his assist in a 3-1 success over Strasbourg started ‘causing ecstasy’ in the stands.
Capped 96 times for Switzerland, Shaqiri is clearly a talented player who was never really given an opportunity under Jurgen Klopp. The abundance of talent at the German’s disposal meant he was always down the pecking order.
He seems to be thriving in his new surroundings, making a late appearance against Rangers in the Europa League this week.
Klopp’s side have made a solid start to the season but will hope they don’t regret jettisoning Shaqiri during the off-season.
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