To some people, Xherdan Shaqiri represents a player that would make a whole lot of sense for Juventus. For others, Shaqiri is just another non-world-class player being brought to Turin in a summer full of disappointing signings. There are also those in the middle who sit in both camps (or just like sitting on fences without making up their minds).
Depending on what you read, Juventus are interested in signing Shaqiri, who is currently on the books at Bayern Munich and not exactly in the best of situations. That's not exactly inside information, rather just the general assumption for a player that has to fight for playing time with some of the best attacking players the world has to offer.
Luckily for us, SB Nation's resident Bayern Munich experts over at Bavarian Football Works can tell us what exactly is happening with their club in a lot more detail than I can. And no, it's not what kind of beer Manuel Neuer is drinking when he's not running out of the 18-yard box like a wild child or where Pep Guardiola buys those lovely
With Thomas Müller's extension, he's due an even bigger boost in playing time, while Pep Guardiola will continue to find ways to put €37 million transfer Mario Götze in the starting XI. Shaqiri's role that he appeared to secure has now dwindled away once again, and he might be stuck in the same situation for a third year.
The one glimmer of hope for his place in the squad is at someone else's expense; as long as Franck Ribéry remains injured, he will remain one of the pure wingers that Guardiola can utilize. Ribéry is close to a return to the field, though, so that glimmer will snuff out, and Shaqiri will be without a light to guide him to the team sheet. With the window open only five more days, now might be his chance to move on.
It's not all that surprising to see what is written above for the simple reason of Bayern Munich's attack — and entire roster, for that matter — being absolutely stacked with insanely good footballers. (YEAH BUT WHO HAS ARTURO VIDAL, HUH???) Müller, Götze, Robben, Ribéry. That's Shaqiri's competition for playing time in the attack at Bayern. That's the reason why Shaqiri is doubting whether another season at Bayern is really worth it.
He's 22 years old and wants to play. That's pretty easy to figure out. I know sitting on the bench and making a nice paycheck would only go so far when you're that age and clearly champing at the bit to get time on the field.
That means Juventus signing Shaqiri would give him something he hasn't had ever since he arrived at Bayern Munich — consistent playing time week in and week out. Sure, he's won trophies at Bayern since arriving at the biggest club in Germany two years ago, but it's not like he's had a huge, huge hand in things like many of the other great players on their star-studded roster.
Take a crack at this little piece of information: In two years with Bayern, Shaqiri has started 23 league games combined. He's come off the bench in 20 more games. So, ever since arriving at Bayern, he's played about half the time in the Bundesliga. Just for a comparison: In a 2013-14 campaign where he ended up starting one of the lowest figures in his Juve career a year ago, Claudio Marchisio started 21 games in Serie A last season.
Not exactly "Hey, we're really committed to you!" now, is it? That's why it's logical as to why Shaqiri is possibly interested in moving away from the club. And, at the same time, why Bayern Munich are reportedly open to loaning out the Swiss playmaker this summer.
We can rage back and forth about Shaqiri's skills and if he truly fits into our respective visions of what this Juventus side should look like. But what is the risk of Juve taking a Beppe Marotta special on Shaqiri and signing him on loan — with an option to boot perhaps — if that's the only true scenario Bayern will accept? There's not much of one. And judging by the fact that Max Allegri has been shuffling the formations like a card dealer in Vegas during the preseason, he's still searching for something that really does work.
Is Shaqiri the absolutely perfect solution to what Juventus need in the final third of the field? No, obviously not. But is he the kind of player that would improve this current Juventus side? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that he is.
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