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Shaqiri opts out of Switzerland duty to focus on Liverpool

11:57 AM EDT 8/30/19
Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool 2019-20
The 27-year-old has yet to make an appearance for the Reds in the Premier League this season and has been linked with a move away

Xherdan Shaqiri has decided to skip Switzerland's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers to focus on his responsibilities with Liverpool.

The Swiss are set to take on Ireland and Gibraltar next week as they aim to reach Euro 2020, but they will have to do so without the 27-year-old, who has 82 caps in his international career.

Switzerland will be able to call on Admir Mehmedi and Breel Embolo, who missed out on June's UEFA Nations League semi-final against Portugal due to injuries.

Stephan Lichtsteiner (FC Augsburg) and Michael Lang (Werder Bremen) will also miss out due to their recent transfers.

Shaqiri made 24 appearances in the Premier League last season, his first campaign with the Reds after joining from Stoke City

This season, however, Shaqiri has only made one appearance for Liverpool, which came in the Community Shield against Manchester City earlier this month. 

After being an unused substitute in Liverpool's first three Premier League games, manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Shaqiri will have a major role to play this season.

"It's the first four weeks of the season, that's how it is. That's probably the hardest period for players who are not [playing]," Klopp said at a press conference on Friday.

"In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way if he can keep the level he is doing at the moment.

"Of course he can improve like how everybody can improve, but it's not about that – he doesn't have to show anything special.

"We will need him, he knows that 100 per cent."

Klopp has admitted that Shaqiri is not happy with his role in the early season, but says that the Swiss attacker hasn't let that affect him in training. 

"Is he the happiest player in the squad? I don't think so. Can I see that on the training pitch? No.

"He is in a good mood, training hard, doing what he has to do and is ready for the moment when he has to help the team on the pitch."

Liverpool have won all three of their Premier League matches so far this season, and look to make it four from four on Saturday when they take on Burnley