Three Replacements For Xherdan Shaqiri Who Stoke Can Target
In recent years, no signing has been more cherished or celebrated by Stoke City fans than that of Xherdan Shaqiri. The talismanic attacker joined the Potters from Italian club Inter Milan back in the summer of 2015, for a then club record fee of £12million and has gone on to become an integral part of the team since then, despite injuries not letting him flourish as expected.
So, when The Express reported that the 25-year old winger was a transfer target for Serie A club AS Roma, it was definitely a heart in the mouth moment for the Stoke faithful. The club reacted soon to refute any such claims, with chairman Peter Coates issuing a statement that the Switzerland international was going nowhere.
While that may have put the rumours to rest for now, if a big club like Roma, who have Champions League football to offer, do come calling, Shaqiri may well find his head turned. And if it so happens that the 25-year old leaves the Bet365 Stadium, here are three replacements that Stoke could look to sign to fill in his vacant shoes.
Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kyiv)
The 27-year old was very close to a move to Stoke City back in 2015 but saw the transfer blocked by his club Dynamo Kyiv. But the Potters can reconsider the option of going back for Yarmolenko if Shaqiri decides to move on.
The Ukraine international is one of the most explosive wingers across Europe and has been monitored by some top English clubs in the past. This past season, he finished with an excellent tally of 19 goals and 10 assists from 36 games across all competitions. Till date, Yarmolenko has notched up more than 300 appearances for Kyiv and has gone on to score a whopping 133 goals. He is fast, has the technical skills and the ability to score and create in plenty and will be an excellent alternative for Shaqiri.
Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow)
The 25-year old Dutchman is another who has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs following an impressive season for Russian side Spartak Moscow.
Promes finished the campaign with a strong return of 12 goals and 10 assists from 26 Russian Premier Liga appearances, helping the capital club to the league crown. A versatile customer who can play on either flank or through the middle, the Dutch international has all the attributes to be a hit in the Premier League. He is fast, possesses the strength and the dribbling abilities and can also be a threat from long distance with his excellent technical abilities. Surely someone who Stoke should be watching closely if Shaqiri’s future is in doubt.
Tom Ince (Derby County)
Someone from close to home this time, the 25-year old Tom Ince has been making waves in the EFL Championship with his performances for Derby County.
The England youth international has been around for few years now and a big move has been touted for some time, but nothing has materialised yet. Last season, Ince managed to find the back of the net on 15 occasions and also set up 8 strikes for his teammates in 50 appearances across all competitions. Now that he is a better and a much-improved player, Stoke should consider signing Tom Ince should Shaqiri leave.