Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville has accused Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri of summing up the unprofessional attitude that caused Stoke City to suffer relegation from the Premier League last season.
Neville, who was assistant coach of England during their doomed Euro 2016 campaign, is currently working as part of ITV’s World Cup punditry panel and when quizzed about Shaqiri in the build up to Switzerland’s 1-1 draw with Brazil the 41-year-old was scathing in his assessment.
“I’m not a fan of Shaqiri to be honest with you,” Neville told ITV.
“I think that was to be fair made worse by the fact that he distanced himself from his team-mates as Stoke.
“They were unprofessional last season Stoke there’s no doubt and he epitomises it.
“He could score the goal of the tournament and he could have the most amazing game tonight (against Brazil).
“But he could also be there for three matches, do nothing and just amble and waddle around.
“To be honest with you with him, players like that I can’t have to be honest with you, I struggle with it.”
Neville certainly has a point as Shaqiri spent much of last night’s fixture waddling around the Rostov arena, and he seemed to be out of sync with the work-rate put in by his team-mates to gain a excellent point against Brazil, who are favourites to lift the World Cup later this summer.
However, there is no doubt that the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan man does possess the ability to produce some amazing moments of magic, having scored with strikes that were contenders for goal of the tournament in World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
Whether he has the mobility to fit into Jurgen Klopp’s intense high press does however seem pretty doubtful.