Former Liverpool coach warns that Shaqiri could be another Balotelli

Former Liverpool player and coach Phil Thompson has been discussing the merits of his former side signing Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City for £13.5 million this summer.

The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan attacker has undoubted talent, but his questionable work-rate has lead to many fans wondering if he will fit into Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity style of play at Anfield.

Thompson reckons Shaqiri’s Liverpool career could go either way, with the Switzerland international either becoming the next Sadio Mane or the next Mario Balotelli.

“He’s a player, as we know, who is maybe not a workaholic at the moment like Klopp would like,” Thompson told Sky Sports.

“But my goodness he’s got an assist, he’s got a goal, set plays.

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“So that’s the great thing Jurgen has done with the transfer market. He has identified the areas which he needs to improve his squad and gone for it.

“Shaqiri, yeah maybe a few problems about him, but he’s got this in his locker. Set plays, corner kicks, he delivers into dangerous areas.

“He’s going to a club now which in all intents and purposes is a bigger club than what Stoke is. I think the expectations and the demands on him will be as it should be.

“At £13m it is a snip and I hope upon hope that this goes right for the boy. It could be a Balotelli move, then again it could be a Mane move and that is the thing.

“He’s got to learn and that is the only thing, this high-pressure game that Jurgen demands from everybody. Everybody has to fit in and Shaqiri has to bring that to the table.”

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