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Liverpool player with the 'X-factor' captained his nation on Thursday, Klopp barely plays him

Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri is very much out of favour at Anfield right now.

Last season, the 29-year-old made 22 competitive appearances for the Reds.

Just 14 of those were in the Premier League, and a mere five were starts.

It’s a better return than 2019-20, when Shaqiri made 11 appearances, but he was out injured for most of it.

However, Shaqiri is a different proposition for Switzerland, where he is one of the main men.


Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

When fit, the attacker is usually a starter, and on Thursday, he wore the captain’s armband for the second time.

Switzerland, who are fine-tuning their preparations ahead of Euro 2020, took on Liechtenstein at the AFG Arena.

Predictably, it turned out to be a one-sided affair, with the Swiss running out 7-0 winners.

Vladimir Petkovic opted to keep Granit Xhaka on the bench at the start, and gave Shaqiri the armband.

The Liverpool ace played the first half and was replaced at the break.

Here’s what Swiss outlet Blue News made of Shaqiri’s display:

“With Granit Xhaka on the bench, it was Xherdan Shaqiri who inherited the captain’s armband at the start.

“Like Fabian Schar, “XS” needs to play matches in order to regain his form.

“The former Basel man showed a lot more drive against Liechtenstein than during the meeting against the Americans last Sunday.

“Enough to satisfy Vladimir Petkovic who will need a Xherdan Shaqiri at the top of his form during the Euros.”

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Are Liverpool missing out on the “X-factor”?

Shaqiri is loved in the Swiss setup, so it’s a shame to see him on the fringes of the Liverpool team.

Swiss media has previously described him as a “street footballer” gifted with the “X-factor”.

With Switzerland set to compete in the Euros, a successful campaign would do wonders for Shaqiri.

Klopp could either end up giving him more of a chance next season, or if he leaves, it’d put him in the shop window and increase his value.

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