How Liverpool can win the Premier League – and why nothing is impossible for Jurgen Klopp’s side

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Xherdan Shaqiri, it soon becomes patently clear, doesn’t mess about. When it comes to ambition, Liverpool’s newest forward sees no reason for caveats.

“For me, nothing is impossible,” he says. “We can be everything we want to be.

“We beat Manchester City in the league and the Champions League last season so I think we can win everything in the world.

“It has to be our ambition to compete with the best and to go on the field against whoever we play trying to win the game and dominate the game.

“Our aim is to win as many titles as possible. That is the goal of the club now and we are looking forward to the season.”

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Liverpool vs West Ham

As a mission statement, it’s as emphatic as Shaqiri’s calling card of that remarkable overhead kick against Manchester United in Michigan on his first Liverpool appearance since completing a £13.5million move from Stoke City last month.

While some Reds fans may be bewildered by the 26-year-old’s confident outlook given his relegation last season with the Potters – especially if they have been paying attention to Charlie Adam recently – it overlooks arguably the most significant characteristic he will bring to Liverpool’s squad.

Shaqiri is a winner. At Bayern Munich, he was a regular in the team that won the Bundesliga in 2013, an unused substitute when Bayern beat Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley, and made a fleeting appearance in the German Cup final win over Wolfsburg.

And while the following season was hampered by injury, he still played enough to win another Bundesliga and be on the bench for a domestic Cup final win, with Klopp’s Dortmund again beaten.

Xherdan Shaqiri scores a spectacular overhead kick against Manchester United in the friendly in Michigan
Xherdan Shaqiri scores a spectacular overhead kick against Manchester United in the friendly in Michigan

Shaqiri also featured in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup wins, having previously won the league three times and the cup twice in Switzerland while at Basel.

It makes him well placed to ascertain whether Klopp’s current charges are capable of taking the final step and lift silverware for the first time under the German.

“I think it is difficult now to say from the beginning but I think all players are ready and ready to go for the new season,” says Shaqiri, part of a £170m-plus summer recruitment drive that also included midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho and goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

“The new players, also with big qualities, good qualities, are going to bring more qualities in this team, and for a long time because the Premier League has a lot of games, a lot of competitions, and you need a lot of good quality in the team in a long way also (over the course of the season).

“We have a big team and a lot of players with quality, so I think the coach can rotate every time and you have quality on the pitch.

“So I think, I hope, we are going to kick on on Sunday with the first win and try to give the fans what they deserve, titles.”

Indeed, Sunday sees Liverpool begin their latest Premier League campaign at home to West Ham United.

Shaqiri has done as much as he could to force his way into the starting line-up but will most likely begin on the bench. He knows, though, opportunity is knocking not just for himself, but for the team as a whole.

Bayern Munich midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri lifts the Champions League trophy in 2013
Bayern Munich midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri lifts the Champions League trophy in 2013

“I came here to try to win titles,” adds the Switzerland international. “They had a very successful and good season last season but we didn’t win a title but it was a good season.

“Now it is important to again be very good and to try the last thing. Sometimes you need to win titles to be really (able to win) the most important games here and to win the games you really need to win.

“I think we have now the quality, we have taken players in with the quality to help the team, and we have a very good team, a talented team who can play to win titles.

“It has to be our goal to try to be the best also in the league, and to compete with the other teams.”

Asked if he was surprised Klopp had yet to claim silverware at Liverpool, Shaqiri says: “I think when he arrived here the club was totally different to what it is now. He has done a very good job since he’s been here and you can see that the people have a lot of respect for him and his work.

“The progress of this club and this team is getting higher every year. We want to compete with the biggest teams like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are the best teams in the world and Liverpool is also one of them.”

If Shaqiri is found wanting this season, it certainly won’t be for ambition.



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