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Xherdan Shaqiri blow for striker-light Liverpool

LIVERPOOL forward Xherdan Shaqiri is facing a battle to be ready for the start of the season after manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he would be sidelined for ‘a while’.

Shaqiri is still carrying a calf injury sustained on international duty with Switzerland in their Nations League defeat to England on June 9.

The news is a blow to Klopp, who is already short of strikers. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have been involved with Egypt and Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Roberto Firmino helped Brazil to Copa America success at the weekend.

All three will be delayed on their return to the club following their international exertions.

Divock Origi is yet to sign a new deal at Anfield, while Rhian Brewster, 19, is set to be involved more next season.

But Shaqiri’s absence gives the Champions League winners a headache. The former Stoke attacker returned to Melwood training ground this week and Liverpool boss Klopp said: ‘Shaq is still injured from the national team and it will take a while until he is in again.

‘He has a tear in his calf, so he will not be involved for a while.’

The 27-year-old, a £13million buy last summer, has plenty to prove to Klopp after fading in the second half of their European Cup-winning campaign.