Stoke finally seal superb Xherdan Shaqiri signing from Inter Milan


Stoke City, 11/10 chances with Coral for a top 10 finish, have completed the capture of Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan for a club record fee of £12m.

The former Basel and Bayern Munich midfield magician has penned a five-year deal with the Potters, which will tie him to the Britannia Stadium until 2020.

Shaqiri’s signing is undoubtedly a coup for the Midlands men, who have persevered in attempting to add the ex-Inter attacker to their ranks all summer, and it finally marks the end of a long-running transfer saga.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes said of Shaqiri: “He’s a dynamic and explosive player who will bring something different to the group and at the age of 23 he still has a great deal of potential. In the chats I’ve had with him it’s obvious that he’s excited about playing in the Premier League and showing what he’s capable of.”

If at first you don’t succeed goes the old saying, and Hughes and co can be congratulated for finally landing their man amid reported interest from other clubs such as Everton, while Potters support should be more than pleased at the prospect of this marquee wingman lining up next to Bojan Krkic.

Hughes had been clear about his intent to secure a star player this summer to push the Potters on following a series of steady midtable finishes. Shaqiri’s current pedigree and promise certainly fits the bill, and could be the catalyst for a successful season at Stoke.

The Midlands club, 14/1 for a top six finish, have already added an impressive eight fresh faces to their roster this summer, including fellow flank threat and free agent Ibrahim Afellay, signalling real ambition for an assault on Europa League places.

Shaqiri’s experience, despite his young age, should be a significant boost, and the Potters now boast a potential game-changer in their ranks.

As for the Switzerland playmaker himself, the 23-year-old appeared intent on fighting for his place at the San Siro, but the Nerazzurri seemed equally keen to offload the attacker to make space in their squad.

Now, Shaqiri, who clocked up only three strikes and two assists in 20 outings for Inter last term, has the chance to reinvigorate his slightly stalled career, by being the leading man at the Britannia.

Still young, if the strong and skilful Swiss star, capped 46 times for his country, can add stardust to an already sturdy Stoke side, the giants of European football could soon come calling again. Stoke are 11/10 chances to finish in the top 10.

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