Monday, August 8, 2022

Stoke City Star Linked With An Exit: Is The Attacker Too Good For The Club?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Many eyebrows were raised when Xherdan Shaqiri decided to join Stoke City from Inter Milan. It was not as if the Swiss was past his prime and had to look for retirement options or was plagued with injury and therefore looked for secure options. Shaqiri had his own reasons for deciding to revive his career at Stoke City.

Although he has never really spoken publicly about it publicly, many believe that Shaqiri is too good a player to be playing Stoke City. However, his future became uncertain when his agent and brother Edrin stated last month in an interview in Italy that nothing is certain about his Shaqiri’s future and January is too far (to say anything for certain). Numerous reports suggest that the midget is Italy bound with AS Roma, a likely destination.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has however rubbished all reports claiming that the 25-year-old has recently bought a house in England and has assured he is staying, as reported by the Mirror.

Stoke had acquired Shaqiri for 12 million pounds from Inter Milan and although the Swiss’ form has been on and off mainly due to injuries, he has been absolutely phenomenal and his presence greatly influences the game’s outcome.

Last season, which was his first in the Premier League, he scored 3 goals and 6 assists in 27 appearances. This season he has already bagged 3 goals in 6 appearances. The development has been very fast and he is only 25-years-old.

He does have some welly in his left foot of his and we got to see that when he scored a stunner against Hull City. His stout like figure allows him to cancel his disadvantages of short height as he is strong enough to hold the ball against strong and tall opponents.

FBL-ENG-PR-STOKE-SWANSEA

These are all reasons enough for Stoke to hold on to the midfielder. Hughes made the club’s intention very clear while speaking on Shaqiri’s current situation, “I’ve heard the speculation. But that’s all it is – speculation. There was a throw-away comment from his brother and it was jumped upon by some people who thought there was something afoot.”

Hughes continued, “But that isn’t the case. Shaq is moving into a new property at the moment, so that would suggest he’s happy here and settled. Take it from me, he isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Shaq needed a year to come to terms with the Premier League. He was our record signing and there was pressure and expectation on him… But he has come back having had a really good effect at the Euros – and it looks like the switch has been flicked.”

Shaqiri plays with the likes of Arnautovic, Bojan and Diouf up front at Stoke and is expected to have a breakthrough season this year. The attack is well settled and after the acclimatising time Shaqiri had last season, he should look to make a big impact at the club.

His move from Basel to Bayern didn’t turn out the way he would have liked and he struggled at Inter as well, so staying put is perhaps the best option as he isn’t good enough for those sides.

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