Go for it Sam: It is time for Everton to rescue Xherdan Shaqiri from Championship mediocrity
Crystal Palace ended Stoke City’s decade-long stay in the Premier League with a comeback victory at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
The Potters came into this game needing a win and went ahead via Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick before the break. But they couldn’t preserve their lead as Palace scored twice to relegate Stoke and leave the fans in tears.
With Paul Lambert’s Potters relegated to the Championship, Xherdan Shaqiri could be amongst the first players to leave the club at the end of the season. The Swiss international has a £12m release clause in his contract after he signed for Stoke from Inter Milan in 2015.
While Shaqiri netted a superb free-kick against Palace, his brilliant effort went in vain. In the summer, he will be available for a knockdown price, with Everton amongst the few clubs keeping tabs on him.
Shaqiri’s career has not gone according to plan since his move from FC Basel to Bayern Munich in 2012. After failing to deliver at Bayern, he moved to Inter in the winter of 2015 but after just six months, the attacker joined Stoke.
The Switzerland international has been very inconsistent at Stoke but he has shown on many occasions what he is capable of doing in the Premier League.
However, Shaqiri has been the star at Stoke, scoring 8 times in the league this season. He has been a more matured and improved player after mixing his game with power and precision.
Shaqiri is an exceptionally talented footballer and Everton must seriously consider offering him a lifeline to stay in the Premier League. The Toffees have been underwhelming despite sitting 8th on the table. While Sam Allardyce has done what was asked out of him, he has made his boys play a dire and lifeless style of football.
Shaqiri will pour plenty of life and thrust into the Everton side next season. He would bring a lot of pace and trickery in the side which would certainly excite the Everton fans, who have been bored and dejected with their team’s performances under Allardyce this season.
The 26-year-old Swiss has gained a lot of experience having played for the likes of Bayern and Inter before joining Stoke.
While Stoke was always going to be a step down for him, he would have hoped to use that platform to resurrect his stuttering career and make a move to a bigger club. In fact, even if Stoke had not got relegated, Shaqiri, in my opinion, would have left the club this summer.
After going down with Stoke, Shaqiri’s next aim will be to get into the Premier League as a player of his quality doesn’t deserve to play in the Championship. That being said, it would be sensible for Everton to make a move for Shaqiri.
A player of Shaqiri’s quality and potential in the team would simply enhance Everton’s chances of finishing in the top-6 next season.