It’s a bit of a rollercoaster journey when it comes to the reputation of Xherdan Shaqiri: one of Europe’s brightest talents at a young age whilst playing for Basel; linked with Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers before moving to Bayern Munich; a lack of minutes in Germany followed by a loan move to Inter Milan which seemed to indicate (to the normal folk who don’t watch every player in every match in every league in Europe) he wasn’t going to fulfil the undoubted potential he had. This was compounded somewhat when he decided to sign for the ‘rebranded’ Stoke City under Mark Hughes, in a very strange deal considering he’d only just joined Inter on a full-time basis 42 days earlier. The Italian club made two million Euros profit on the deal according to TransferMarkt, and everyone was left scratching their heads at his decision to join The Potters.
This analysis will use Wyscout’s unique feature of allowing you to select video clips from a specific area on the pitch, so despite playing for a team who had Peter Crouch play against us last season and rack up nearly 30 aerial duels, we can still find footage of Shaqiri playing in the central areas between the lines and even further back. So while creativity and playmaking centrally was against the Pulis-instilled Stoke Laws of Football, there have been occasions when our new Kosovan was allowed more freedom – although, if you blinked at all, then there’s a fair chance you missed it while he was in the Premier League (because of tactical ‘demands’).
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