Stoke manager Mark Hughes was surprised that his team were able to get Xherdan Shaqiri for just £12million and he said that the recent performances of the former Bayern Munich player proved that it was a bargain.
The playmaker became Stoke’s record signing when they pulled off a coup by signing him from Inter Milan in the summer of 2015 – he struggled to provide stable performances in his first two seasons but it seems that this one is his. He scored two goals and provided another four so it’s understandable that his coach is delighted with having him in the squad.
Mark Hughes spoke about Shaqiri and the transfer fee that he was bought for as he said, according to Sky Sports: “In the current market it doesn’t look a significant amount. For us, it was still significant money. But you’d have to say – not that we are encouraging or advocating that we want to sell him – he’d be worth a hell of a lot more than that if he was back in the market.”
The experienced Premier League coach added: “We’ve all seen the difference in his decision-making and its impact on the team. Sometimes maybe through the (previous) seasons that sustained impact wasn’t quite there. It was all about getting used to the Premier League obviously, and understanding who he was up against. He is taking on more the role of the main instigator of our attacking threat.”
He also claimed that everyone can see the change that Shaqiri has made in his play: “I think the whole team responds to that, you sense that maybe something’s going to happen. I think the crowd senses it as well, and I know opposition teams sense it too. Since he’s come back in pre-season, he’s been, first class. I don’t know what it is but he came back with a real focus on making sure he was going to have a good season. And he’s sustained it.”