Can Xherdan Shaqiri Push Stoke City On?

Xherdan Shaqiri

Stoke City fans will be hoping that their side can record their first Barclays Premier League victory of the season away at Norwich this weekend. The Potters faithful will also be desperate to see their record signing in action for the first time!

Stoke’s new number twenty-two is Swiss creator Xherdan Shaqiri. Manager Mark Hughes is believed to have parted with £12m to get the international to join from Inter Milan.

The signing is one of intent from the West Midlands club that they are ready to challenge for a top seven finish this term.

So can Xherdan be that important for Stoke?

I suppose it depends on how well the Swiss international can adapt to life in English football. Can he play on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke? (sorry I couldn’t resist)

Of course the forward can do well in the league and with the Potters.

Still only twenty-three years of age, Shaqiri is already his nation’s top performer. He has racked up forty-six caps and scoring seventeen goals. His influence with the Swiss side is huge and helped them reach the 2014 World Cup, where he was hailed for his fantastic performances.

After his breakthrough at FC Basel, Shaqiri was snapped up by German giants Bayern Munich. His time in the Bundesliga was a bit hit and miss. The youngster possibly joined the Bavarian club at the worst possible time. He was up against world-class teammates vying for the same positions and the club were determined to challenge for top European honours. Those aren’t always the best conditions for young players to develop and realise their full potential.

Shaqiri did show the odd glimpses of brilliance at Bayern but he was also inconsistent and just didn’t manage to find enough minutes on the football pitch.

In January he moved to Serie A and joined Inter. That move quickly turned sour with the forward again failing to make an impact at his new club.

Inter President Erick Thohir said this on selling Xherdan:

“Shaqiri? He didn’t fit with Mancini and his system.”

After two unspectacular spells at big clubs, question marks remain over Shaqiri’s ability to play well on a regular basis.

But for Stoke City, his signing could be extremely important.

Nicknamed the ‘Alpine Messi’ the creative magician can play across the frontline. He’s a small robust forward who can turn opposing players inside out and come in off either wing.

Still in his early twenties, Xherdan still has time on his side and at Stoke he should get those regular first-team chances that will help develop his career further.

His distinct, explosive style will have Stoke City fans on their edge of the seats and shouting with excitement.

Players can go to Stoke and rediscover themselves at the Britannia Stadium, just ask Bojan who could return from injury this weekend. The former Barcelona man had lost his way but Mark Hughes helped him by giving him belief once again.

I believe Hughes will go all out and make Xherdan Shaqiri the jewel of his team. The Swiss attacker should thrive in that role within his team and could become an icon in the West Midlands.

He will need to reward his managers faith in him with goals and assists but the forward has a style that’s reminiscent of an explosive Paul Gascoigne.

That’s the type of player that Stoke’s supporters will be hoping to see at Carrow Road this Saturday.

Can he help his side break into the top seven? Only time will tell, but he has the ability to do just that! 

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