Xherdan Shaqiri has told Swiss paper Aargauer Zeitung that he will be leaving Stoke and would prefer to remain in the Premier League. This shouldn’t be a surprise, Shaq is too good to be in the Championship and though his career trajectory may have taken a sharp turn away from his time at Bayern Munich, he’s still a very capable player.
With a reported release clause of just £12m, he could actually be acquired at a very good deal as well, and could find himself as a very good reserve on an upper tier Premier League team.
What concerns me performance wise about Shaqiri is his predictive radar. Predictives seek to get beyond the actual production and get at what we should have expected the production to be given the work the player did. Often times a predictive radar show you the baseline of what you can expect from a player if he doesn’t get hot.
The key pass and passing % numbers are pretty good, and that results in okay numbers for expected assists. Basically what we have here is a moderately efficient, competent EPL level creator. You’d be happy to pay £12m for it if that’s what your team needed.
Thing is though, I’m not sure we need it. Shaq is primarily a right side creative player. In wide areas we already have Ademola Lookman and Theo Walcott (the two I’d like to see start), Yannick Bolasie, possibly Henry Onyekuru (if he doesn’t go back out on loan), and if we need, Nikola Vlasic (although I think his best position is CAM). Given that setup, Shaq would probably be in the rotation ahead of Henry and Vlasic and whether he or Bolasie played would depend on whether we needed a right or left sided player, given Walcott’s versatility.
I’d be totally fine with that for £12m, but I don’t think that’s the role Shaqiri wants. I think he views himself as a starter still, and the last thing I want is a player who is just famous enough to consider himself ill done if he isn’t starting every week.
If another Everton fan disagreed and thought it’d be worth the risk at such a cheap price, I’d understand the stance. But to me, it’s not enough of an upgrade at the position for me think it’s worth it.