Shaqiri has a Liverpool future – Klopp

When Liverpool signed Xherdan Shaqiri in summer 2018, it was seen as a smart piece of transfer business but the forward remains an enigma.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Xherdan Shaqiri remains a big part of his squad despite struggling to feature so far this season.

Switzerland international Shaqiri arrived at Anfield from Stoke City in July 2018 after his £13.5million release clause was triggered but he has struggled to cement his place in the starting XI, leaving doubts over his long-term future.

The 28-year-old forward made just 11 Premier League starts last season and he is yet to be named in the first XI during the current campaign, having come on just twice in the top flight.

Shaqiri’s absence has partly been down to injuries, having suffered with calf, shin and heel issues, while the form of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane has also been a factor.

The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan star has been linked with an exit from Anfield, either in January or the summer, and there are claims several teams are keeping tabs on his situation.

However, Klopp has allayed any fears that Shaqiri will be heading for the exit door anytime soon, saying the Swiss is an important player for Liverpool as they chase a maiden Premier League title.

“Why should I talk about something that has absolutely no interest for us. That’s the world outside. We spoke earlier (in the season), he wasn’t playing as much as he wanted to,” he said at a press conference.

“When I am with him, he is completely happy. Speculation is speculation. Of course, he has a future here.”

Shaqiri is back in training ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday to take on Crystal Palace, who have failed to win any of their last four league matches and are managed by former Reds boss Roy Hodgson.

However, it is likely the forward will be given a little more time to get back to full fitness, with the home Champions League clash against Napoli on Wednesday a more realistic target for his return.