Stoke City could muster merely 33 points during the entirety of the 2017-18 Premier League season and it goes without saying that it was a horrendous and humiliating campaign for them as they unsurprisingly got relegated. Stoke City’s downfall will mean that some of their key players will be tempted by the prospect of leaving the club and speculations have already begun to surface.
As per one of the latest reports by talkSPORT, Crystal Palace are understood to be in the race to secure the signature of Stoke City winger, Xherdan Shaqiri, and are ready to trigger his release clause of £12million when the summer transfer window opens. Apart from the London based outfit, West Ham United and Everton are also believed to be interested, which means that it would not be easy for the Eagles to sign him.
Shaqiri blossomed in the youth ranks of SV Augst and FC Basel and then went on to represent the senior side of the latter for a considerable period of time. After that, he made a move to Bayern Munich and then was lured by Inter Milan before signing for the Potters in the summer transfer window of 2015 for £12million. Moreover, he is a key member in the Swiss national side.
How He Fared?
The 26-year-old smashed 8 goals and garnered 7 assists in 36 Premier League appearances during the 2017-18 campaign and was one of the best players for Stoke City. Despite his fantastic season, he couldn’t prevent the Potters from going down in the manner they did. However, there are many clubs ready to offer him an outlet.
Shaqiri is a versatile player who is capable of plying his trade as a right-sided winger as well as a central attacking midfielder. He has volumes of experience under his belt and has the required attacking tooth to make his presence felt in the final third. He scores goals, creates chances and is an excellent set-piece taker. Besides, his out and out offensive gameplay is something which will find favour in a number of teams and especially in a team like Palace, who rely a lot on individual brilliance.
Why Crystal Palace Need Him?
Palace recovered under Roy after a disastrous start but it was clear over the course of their season that the Eagles find it hard to score from open play. They need players despite having the likes of Zaha and a rejuvenated Townsend who can contribute in that department. And after the dangerous brush with relegation, the owners will be wary of undergoing another similar season.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored