Stoke City winger, Xherdan Shaqiri revealed where his future lies with the Staffordshire club with pending interests from Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. The Potters are expected to part ways with the 26-year-old following their relegation from the Premier League. European clubs including the aforementioned duo is lining up for his services, all ready to pay his £12m release clause.
When asked about him leaving the bet365, Shaqiri said, “It is no longer a secret that I will leave Stoke City. I think the Premier League is perfect for me. I would love to stay in England, but I do not want to rule anything out. It is the best league with the best players – simple.”
This should not come as a shock to the City fans who have witnessed their star attacker circulate the rumour mill all season long. Shaqiri is one of the best players in the club and is far too good for any of the lower divisions. His departure was imminent after Stoke’s horror run in the English top-flight last term, which eventually got them relegated.
While Gary Rowett tries to put together a decent team to challenge for the Championship title next season, here are a few replacements for Shaqiri he might consider signing.
Granted he has not shown us much during his 2-year stay in England but he still looks like an untested product. There is no doubt about N’Koudou’s pace or skill with the ball, especially after what we saw of him at Olympique Marseille.
The 23-year-old might just thrive if given the freedom to express his best self. He is of no use to Tottenham Hotspur with players like Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela in the side.
The 19-year-old has impressed aplenty this past season with his 7 senior team appearances for Aston Villa. He has also represented England 20 times for the U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 teams.
Green has already shown signs of future stardom and just recently penned down a 2-year contract with the Villans. He is highly skilled with the ball at his feet and has the pace to beat defenders on the run.
Stoke can give him a more important role than Steve Bruce can at Villa Park. That might be enough to pry the ambitious teenager away from his current side.
The situation is confusing with both Aston Villa and West Ham United willing to keep the player for the upcoming season. With David Moyes out of the London Stadium, maybe the veteran wide man would not oppose a move out of the East London club as well.