Paul Merson names Liverpool FC star as signing of the season
The Arsenal legend has been impressed with Xherdan Shaqiri's impact at Liverpool FC
Paul Merson has named Liverpool FC star Xherdan Shaqiri as the signing of the season so far.
The Switzerland international completed a move to Liverpool FC in a cut price deal in the summer after Stoke City were relegated to the Championship.
Indeed, the Reds paid a mere £13.5m for the Swiss playmaker, who came with a wealth of experience in the Champions League, the Bundesliga and the Serie A – and the Premier League.
Shaqiri spent three seasons at Stoke but the 27-year-old was often criticised for his perceived poor work-rate and lack of consistency in the Potters side under the management of Mark Hughes.
Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp resisted the temptation to rush Shaqiri in the starting line up, given the form of front trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino last term.
However, the German head coach carefully coaxed Shaqiri into the Liverpool FC team with a handful of substitute appearances before his first start in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea FC in the Carabao Cup.
Shaqiri has exerted his influence on the Liverpool FC team in recent weeks with an assist against Chelsea FC, Huddersfield Town and Red Star Belgrade to strike up an understanding with Salah.
His first Liverpool FC goal came in a 4-1 win over Cardiff City in the Premier League last weekend just days after his man of the match performance in a 4-0 win over Red Star in Europe.
Former Arsenal playmaker Merson explained why Shaqiri, who came on in the second half of the 1-1 draw with the Gunners on Saturday, is his signing of the season after three months of the Premier League season.
“It’s the first name that popped into my head, and I’ll probably be shot down because there’ll be others who have done more, but for the price Liverpool paid for him, and how he’s slotted in when they’ve given their regular front three a rest, I think he’s done very well,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“You didn’t immediately think he would fit in with their system because his work-rate has been in question in the past, but he’s stepped up to it.
“He’s impressed me more than I thought he would with that, but I think it’s been good for him to work under Jurgen Klopp.
“You’ve seen him having a go at him when his levels have dropped and he’s responded and come up with some goals.”
Liverpool FC signed Shaqiri, Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Naby Keita in the 2018 summer transfer window as Klopp added depth and quality to his Reds squad ahead of a potential title challenge.