On Friday, Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri completed his move to Liverpool.
The move spells good news for the Swiss international’s career, but will worry the Reds’ fringe attacking players who were aiming to break through at Anfield this year.
Winner: Xherdan Shaqiri
With his move to the Champions League finalists, Shaqiri will return to European football, yet again, after his time with Stoke. After starring for Basel, then Bayern Munich, and then Inter Milan, the Swiss international has a history of playing top-level club football.
That’s why his move to Stoke raised eyebrows, as it was a clear step down for the attacker.
Now, however, despite getting relegated with the club and failing to seriously impress. He has earned a big move to one of the Premier League’s top clubs – not bad for a career move after going down.
Loser: Liverpool’s fringe English attacking players
Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke, and more have all been itching to catch a glimpse of regular first team football at Anfield.
Sturridge spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, while Ings and Solanke both scored goals when given the chance to play in the spring.
These players would all have targeted a strong preseason as a catalyst to push for a first team place or increased substitute opportunities, but the news of Shaqiri’s arrival would surely come as a blow.
The addition of yet another attacking player into the already crowded forward line of the Reds will only make appearances harder to come by for Sturridge, Ings, Solanke and co.
For Solanke, in particular, (a young player signed from Chelsea with hopes for more first team football), it will be a bitter pill to swallow.
Again, a high-profile new signing will likely push him out of starting contention and leave him devoid of vital experience.