Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri is capable of turning on the magic, but it’s the infrequency with which he does so that means the Potters should think seriously about selling him if the rumoured Borussia Dortmund interest solidifies.
Shaqiri’s acrobatic strike for Switzerland at the recent Euros showed what is hiding in his locker, but having outlaid £12m for his services last summer, Stoke fans watching on would have been left feeling a little short-changed.
The stocky Swiss scored just three goals in 32 appearances for Mark Hughes’ men during an underwhelming debut campaign, though he did chip in with six Premier League assists.
But with reports circulating that Dortmund are eyeing up a potential swoop for Shaqiri, cashing in is surely an appealing option for the side that finished ninth in England’s top tier last season.
If Dortmund are willing to part with a fee in excess of what the Potters parted with nearly 12 months previously, then another, more consistent replacement could be sought with pre-season still in its early stages.
The counter argument would be that Shaqiri requires more time to settle in to the Premier League.
When you consider the exploits of Dimitri Payet in a West Ham shirt last season – who bagged nine league goals and 12 assists – the theory is slightly undermined however.
By the age of 23, both Bayern Munich and Inter had found enough holes in Shaqiri’s game to sell him on and, having been substituted on 18 occasions from his 27 league starts for Stoke last season, there’s an indication that Hughes felt a little frustrated with his all-round contribution.
It could be that the Welsh manager saw enough from his charge at close quarters to be confident that there is a better second season to come.
If he does have reservations though, Sparky ought to listen to any potentially lucrative offers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.