Stoke boss Mark Hughes has said that Xherdan Shaqiri is making his £12 million transfer fee look like a bargain. Shaqiri became Stokes’ record signing when they brought him to the Premier League from Inter Milan in 2015.
During his first two seasons with the team he struggled with consistency but this season he has raised his game scoring twice and providing four direct assists. He also impressed during Switzerland’s World Cup qualifying playoff against Northern Ireland and Hughes believes he is improving thanks to his experience in the Premier League.
Speaking over the weekend Hughes said, “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 on the market.”
Hughes went on to say that it is due to Shaqiri “getting used to the Premier League” and learning to understand the opposition. He said that Shaqiri now knows most of the players in the league, their strengths and weakness, and how to overcome them.
There was some surprise when Shaqiri joined Stoke, having played for Bayern Munich before Inter Milan, but Hughes says that club and player have “proved it is a good match”.
“To a lesser extent those people are probably still out there,”’ he said. “But I think people understand now he is at a good Premier League club.”
Hughes explained that when Shaqiri plays well against the league’s top teams, and Europe’s top teams, people realises that “he’s not at such a bad club”.
Hughes will now be hoping that Shaqiri can maintain his form when Stoke play Brighton later today and hope to go unbeaten for three consecutive games.