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Liverpool star offered national team captaincy by teammate after player opts out of the team

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By Saiyed Adeem Karim

Latest Liverpool news: Xhaka offers Swiss armband in hopes of bringing Shaqiri back

Xherdan Shaqiri declined to join the Switzerland national team for this international break as he wanted to concentrate on his club career.

The Swiss star hasn’t played for us in the Premier League this season, however, the Liverpool Echo claims there could be something else brewing in Shaq’s decision to not join the Swiss team.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri

The report claims that Shaqiri withdrew from the side in protest after Vladimir Petkovic handed the captain’s armband to Granit Xhaka in the absence of Stephan Lichsteiner.

Xhaka was speaking after Switzerland’s 1-1 draw against Ireland and was open to handing Shaqiri the captaincy if it meant the Liverpool star would return (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“If the captain’s band really is the problem, then we can sit together at one table. We are grown up enough to talk about it.

“If he really has a problem about that [the captaincy], then he may like the captain’s armband. That’s no problem for me. It does not matter to me if I have it.

“I want to give everything to the team, whether that’s with the band or without.”

Good move for Liverpool

Playing for the nation is a matter of pride for most footballers, and it was a little surprising that Shaqiri didn’t want to feature in the important Euro 2020 qualifiers.

However, this is good news for us as he can try to convince Jurgen Klopp to hand him a start once all the players return.

Shaqiri did a great job in the first half of the previous campaign, and he should feature in a few games when the Champions League begins. The domestic cup games should also see the Swiss sensation pick up a few starts.

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It will be interesting to see if he is played with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the starting XI or as a replacement for one of the two stars.