Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri is one of a number of players that Premier League managers will have their eye on at Russia 2018. The talented winger has been one of the Potters’ most consistent performers over the last three seasons, but with Stoke now relegated to the Championship, Shaqiri is a dead cert to leave the Britannia Stadium this summer.
Mark Hughes made a number of marquee signings during his time as Stoke City manager, but few excited Potters fans as much as Xherdan Shaqiri. Over his three seasons in the Premier League, the 26-year-old has made 92 appearances, scoring 15 goals in the process. It’s not just Shaqiri’s goalscoring output that has made him such a high-profile player however. The ‘Alpine Messi’ possesses excellent vision, a startling change of pace, and the ability to play a killer pass – traits that have lead him to become one of the most unpredictable players in the English top-flight.
Indeed, Shaqiri, with his decorated history and undeniable talents is a ‘top-flight player’, and as such will be expected to move to more favourable club over the next few months. The only real question for Stoke City, is how much are they willing to let him go for?
Shaqiri is understood to have a £12 million release clause attached to his contract, but Stoke will almost certainly be expecting a bigger pay day in the current climate.
“No player will leave the club that is contractually with the club unless the club feel it is a good deal and the right deal for them,” said new Stoke City manager Gary Rowett.
“That is the most important thing but on the flip side to that, if players say they want to leave, then I want to work with players that want to be at the club. I want to put players on the pitch next season that want to be in a different league and understand the challenges of that league.
“I want players who are committed to Stoke City and if players want to leave I will try and find the best solution to make that happen if that is the case.”
‘Commitment’ is the key word in this situation, and with Shaqiri recently describing the Premier League as the “best league with the best players” it’s fairly clear where the 26-year-old expects to be come August.
According to Transfermarkt.co.uk, Shaqiri’s highest ever market value was £18m, with the peak coming during his time at Bayern Munich. Should the Swiss international impress during the World Cup however, a number of Premier League will likely be in contact with Stoke City, which could see his value rise substantially.