‘The one I really don’t like facing is Shaqiri – he’s a little magician’: Outgoing Liverpool keeper Andy Lonergan says the forgotten Swiss attacker was as tough to face in training as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino
- Andy Lonergan is looking for a new club after being released by Liverpool
- The 36-year-old was drafted in last year to help ease a goalkeeper shortage
- He labelled front three Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as ‘unreal’
- But he reserved special praise for Xherdan Shaqiri for his talent in training
Outgoing Liverpool goalkeeper Andy Lonergan claims Xherdan Shaqiri was as difficult to face in training as Liverpool’s attacking trio.
The 36-year-old will be looking for a new side after the Premier League champions decided not to offer him an extension to his deal.
Lonergan had spent virtually the entirety of his career in the Championship before coming to Liverpool’s aid to solve a goalkeeping shortage last pre-season.
Andy Lonergan has said Xherdan Shaqiri was as hard to face in training as the club’s front three
Shaqiri made just six appearances as Liverpool won their first league title in 30 years
But while labelling triumvirate Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as ‘unreal’, Lonergan reserved special praise for Switzerland international Shaqiri and said he always hoped he was on his team in training.
‘No-one’s surprised me because they’re all unreal,’ Lonergan told The Liverpool Echo.
‘The one I really don’t like facing is Shaqiri. When he’s shooting, he can do whatever he wants with that left foot.
Lonergan (left) will leave the club at the end of the season after just over a year at Anfield
He also labelled Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Robert Firmino as ‘unreal’ players for the Reds
I’m always thinking when we’re doing five-a-side, ‘Please be on my team,’ because if he’s against you, he’s a little magician with his finishing.’
The 28-year-old winger however could follow Lonergan out of the exit door at Anfield after limited game time this season.
Moreover, while receiving praise from a now former team-mate, the winger was criticised by a compatriot last month.
Swiss boss Arno Rossini slammed Shaqiri after he made just six appearances for Liverpool in their title-winning season, and added that he had been ‘paid millions’ to be a spectator.
But he claimed he always wanted to be on Shaqiri’s side due to his powerful left foot
‘Xherdan is not a champion,’ former FC Sion manager Rossini told Tio.
‘We certainly cannot say that he left his mark with the teams with which he won. Not with the big guys at least. He was the protagonist in Basle, certainly not at Bayern or Liverpool.
‘Let’s say that over the years he has often followed the games of his teams as a spectator, sitting in the best places. And millions have also been paid for it.’