Stoke City’s relegation from the Premier League this season was more or less predicted a while back as they seemed clueless on the pitch more often than not. The Potters had become one of the most consistent Premier League sides in recent seasons and regularly sustained a mid-table finish.
However, despite the plethora of talent at their disposal, the entire team failed to click together and hence Paul Lambert’s side could not avoid the drop, and now will have to deal with the departure of several first-team players.
Xherdan Shaqiri has often been the X-factor on the pitch for the Potters. Everton are genuinely interested in acquiring his services, as the Toffees seem to believe that the Swiss international could add more attacking firepower.
Sam Allardyce has done a decent job so far, but the interest in Shaqiri demonstrates the club’s intent to fare better next time around.
Shaqiri: An absolute gem
Shaqiri is probably the best technically equipped forward outside the top six clubs from the Premier League as the Swiss international has been part of clubs across different countries in Europe. Primarily functioning as a right-winger, Shaqiri is a constant threat around the edge of the box as his deft touch coupled with a good short passing ability makes him suitable for quick link-up play inside the penalty box too.
Though it does not look like it, he possesses a brilliant change of pace and he can be quite deceptive in counter-attacks. The former Bayern Munich man can trick the opposition defenders with his nifty footwork. Probably his best attribute is the ability to function both as a goal-scoring, as well as a goal-creating winger.
He can regularly cut in from the flank and create something out of nothing. He also has the tendency to stretch the opposition’s defensive line and can put in some pinpoint accurate crosses into the box.
Should Everton make a move?
Everton have the services of several decent attacking players, but Shaqiri’s inclusion would add an excellent creative, dynamic aspect to their attacking department. Lack of clarity over the positions of players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, and the now departing Wayne Rooney has hampered the progress of the Toffees.
However, a player like Shaqiri could help the team to reach greater heights next season. The Swiss international has been a part of clubs like Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the past, and he deserves to play for a Premier League club that sits in the top half of the table.
Both Everton and the player would benefit from the transfer.