Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly the two English Premier League clubs interested in signing Stoke City winger, Xherdan Shaqiri. The midfielder who was signed for the Potters by Mark Hughes is now wanted at Southampton by the same man and Mauricio Pochettino is also keeping the tabs on him for a move to the North London club.
The Swiss international has a £12million release clause in his contract and with Stoke City now relegated, Shaqiri has expressed his desire to leave the club. 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.”
There could be a possible reunion of Shaqiri and Hughes at the south coast of England but the Saints will have to fend off interest from Tottenham Hotspur. Shaqiri was one of Stoke City’s bright sparks in the last season.
The winger scored 8 goals in 36 games for the Potters and was the creative fulcrum in the final third. However, he failed to inspire his team to safety as Stoke sunk to the bottom three of the table. With the Potters now relegated, it will be easier for rival clubs playing in the top division to snatch away Shaqiri and that is exactly what is being reported.
The winger is a dynamic player and despite being of a comparatively smaller stature, he packs a punch every time he gets out on the pitch. He is stout and has the strength to take the fight to the opposition. He is extremely fast on the turn and has a low centre of gravity which allows him to run past defenders with great confidence.
He is an ideal fit for the Premier League as the league’s fast, physical play tailor-made for a winger like him. Should Tottenham make a move for him, they will have landed an extremely bright player and that too at a bargain price of £12m.
Spurs have become one of the more dangerous sides in Europe under Mauricio Pochettino in the last few years with the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen turning out to be world-class midfielders. There is also the deadly Harry Kane in attack who shoots on sight and scores more often than not. Adding Shaqiri to the right wing could prove to the final piece of the jigsaw in the Spurs attacking third and it now remains to be seen where the player ends up in August.