Stoke City’s ten year stay in the Premier League came to an end on Saturday after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace. Few could’ve envisaged relegation following several seasons of consolidation with the Potters finishing just six points shy of European qualification in the 2014-15 campaign. However their recruitment in recent seasons has been disappointing to say the least with a number of big money signings falling well short of the expectation and hope placed upon them.
Although the majority of Stoke’s signings have struggled, Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri has been shining light in what can only be described as an abysmal season. The clubs relegation to the Championship begs the question, what next for talented winger?
In an interview with the Telegraph prior to their defeat to Crystal Palace, Shaqiri admitted that he would be reluctant to stay should the club be relegated. The 26-year-old said “everybody knows I’m a player who wants to play at the highest level, this is pretty normal. I have still got two years left on my contract with this club and first we have to see what happens here.”
“I’m happy here at the moment and we will sit down after the season. But for now I’m focused on the two games and trying to keep this club up. That is the most important thing.”
“I didn’t expect them to be champions but I wanted to see the club going forward – that to me was the most important thing. When I came to Stoke, I expected them to be moving forward, every year getting better, but it’s not been like this.”
Following their relegation to the second tier, Shaqiri will be in demand and clearly wants to remain at the highest level. Whether that would be in the Premier League or overseas is another question. There is one certainty though, that is he will have no shortage of offers come the Summer transfer window.
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