Premier League pundit Gary Neville appears to have warned Liverpool and any other potential suitor off signing Stoke and Switzerland maestro Xherdan Shaqiri this summer after branding the stocky genius ‘unprofessional’ and ‘lazy’.
Having seen a deal for Nabil Fekir fall through, Liverpool have been tipped to make an approach for Shaqiri after the World Cup that could see him move to Anfield for just £12m.
Liverpool’s interest in Shaqiri dates back to 2014, before Jurgen Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside, when Bayern are believed to have blocked a move for the rising star.
But Neville, who has temporarily joined ITV as a pundit and analyst for the duration of the World Cup, has suggested that Liverpool might want to steer clear and focus their efforts elsewhere.
“I’m not a fan of Shaqiri to be honest with you,” he said ahead of Switzerland’s opener against Brazil. “I think that was made worse by the fact that he distanced himself from his teammates as Stoke. [Stoke] were unprofessional last season, there’s no doubt, and he epitomises it.
“He could score the goal of the tournament and could have the most amazing game [vs Brazil]. But he could also be there for three matches, do nothing and just amble and waddle around.
“I can’t have players like that, I struggle with it.”
Shaqiri didn’t score the goal of the tournament against Brazil, nor did he put in a shift in his team’s hard working performance against the tournament favourites, leaving full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner to handle Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo on Brazil’s left flank on his own.
Having already addressed his concerns over Shaqiri before the game, Neville made a further comment during the half-time analysis.
“Shaqiri is just lazy. There’s no other word for him. He will not run back,” he said.