West Ham Utd And Crystal Palace Should Be Courting Xherdan Shaqiri

Unfortunately when teams suffer relegation, it’s usual for other clubs to assess players at the relegated sides and cherry pick who they’d like to see represent them next term.

Stoke City will have a few that will cause an interest from English Premier League sides. The Potters finished the season in the dreaded drop zone and the likes of Jack Butland, Joe Allen and Badou Ndiaye will probably have various suitors interested in them this summer.

Another name that will be linked with a move away from the Britannia Stadium in the coming months will be Xherdan Shaqiri.

People have complained that some of the players at Stoke had lost interest, were unprofessional and undermined the club. I don’t think we can point any fingers in the director of Swiss international.

He always seemed a driving force when he was playing in a Stoke City shirt and trying to make things happen. Now he does most of his work in the opposition’s half and with the ball at his feet but that still takes effort and Paul Lambert would’ve wanted more to show the same kind of attacking qualities as Xherdan.

Stoke coach Lambert was always quick to praise the attacking midfielder in the last few months:

“I think as I’ve said before he’s a real world class footballer”

The creative dynamo spent the season either as a number ten or wide on the righthand side.

Shaqiri topped the Potters goalscoring chart with eight goals and the assist table with seven assists in the league.

He’s a star who’s extremely versatile and who can play anywhere in the attacking positions. It’s hard to believe but Shaqiri is still only twenty-six years of age, he should be just hitting his peak years and he already has plenty of experience under his belt.

The former Basle, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan player is a very confident talent and he’s a man that can be lethal from any set-piece situation. He also has the vision to create an inch perfect cross or a defence splitting through ball.

He’d be a player that could enhance two London sides, who managed to survive the relegation battlefield; West Ham United and Crystal Palace.

The Hammers have just parted company with their boss David Moyes.

The Scotsman managed to keep the Irons up but arguably his greatest impact as their gaffer was to move Marko Arnautovic and play the big Austrian as a centre forward.

It was a stroke of genius decision as the attacker managed to grab eleven league goals and help propel the Hammers to a thirteenth spot finish.

The side looked balanced with Manuel Lanzini and Joao Mario playing behind the big man. West Ham are seemingly keen on keeping Portuguese star Mario but they still need to agree things with Inter. Lanzini had an injury interrupting season and the Argentine is always being linked with a move away from his current employers.

With all that in mind, then a move for Swiss juggernaut Shaqiri could be ideal for the next West Ham manager.

Both Arnautovic and Shaqiri enjoyed playing with each other at Stoke and they seemed to have developed a great understanding on the football pitch. You’d imagine if the Austrian is playing up-top next year, then he’d thrive with the Swiss internationalist playing in behind him supplying plenty of ammunition.

We all know West Ham love creative maverick and Xherdan could represent the same as a Paolo Di Canio or a Dimitri Payet.

Fellow capital side Crystal Palace could also do with a talent like Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Eagles would have a pretty impressive frontline if they could have Shaqiri, Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha playing behind Christian Benteke.

Belgian Benteke, didn’t have the best of scoring seasons at Selhurst Park during this campaign but I’d imagine the forward would manage to get back amongst the goals with a trio like that providing plenty of quality service from all angles of the field.

You’d also imagine that Palace manager Roy Hodgson would like to add another experienced face in his attacking ranks. The Stoke maestro can be a game changer and you can’t have too many of them in your squad, especially if Crystal Palace lose Zaha to a big money transfer during the off-season.

It’s probably true to say that Xherdan Shaqiri hasn’t quite lived up to the standards that his potential seemed to suggest he could during his early years in Switzerland. But the forward is still a very good talent, who on his day can terrorise most defences in England’s top flight.

It’s believed that he’ll be available for a paltry fee of just £12m and that should be enough to have teams like Crystal Palace and West Ham United beating down Stoke City’s door to talk to him.

I believe he’d love London life and would thrive in the capital given half the chance!

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