Danny Lawson/PA via AP

Adam takes shot at Shaqiri as example of Stoke rot

6 Comments

Xherdan Shaqiri has left relegated Stoke City for the greener Premier League pastures of Liverpool, labeling it a move in search of silverware.

Former teammate Charlie Adam thinks that’s pretty rich.

[ MORE: Alisson on the brink of joining PL giants Liverpool ]

The 32-year-old Adam, a former Red himself, says Shaqiri was among the group of players he criticized for shrinking in big moments and not caring enough about the relegation fight.

Here’s what Adam said in May:

“I’ll be honest for the supporters, I think some players have been getting away with murder for a long time and it’s difficult for supporters. It’s not just one or two, I think there are four or five that could be counted.”

Offensively, Shaqiri had the best season of his career. The 26-year-old Swiss international scored eight goals in the Premier League, but was absent from the score sheet from March 3-April 28. Stoke collected just four points during that eight-match span, all draws.

But Shaqiri did score Stoke’s lone goal in the match which saw them officially relegated, a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in which there’s no question the stakes were incredibly high.

Asked about Shaqiri on Thursday, Adam did not hold back.

“Was he one of them? Oh, definitely. When the chips are down you look at your big players, you want your big players to bring magic in one moment in the season, and at times we felt like the so-called big players in the squad never turned up for us and never performed.

“Yeah, everybody else could help, but for all the plaudits to so-called bigger players we getting from certain members of the management staff last season – they weren’t producing.”

Shaqiri scored in three-straight February matches, of which Stoke won exactly zero, and pitched in seven assists this season. Huh.

While we don’t know what his attitude was like around the Potteries, it’s very difficult to consider labeling his season a big reason for Stoke’s downfall.

He’s an easy man to scapegoat now, being out the door, but Shaqiri had a decent season for sure. Adam is a strong servant of Stoke, but played in less than a dozen games. This truly seems like the wrong messenger picking the wrong target, though it could help build a bit of momentum for a new season.

Liverpool completes signing of Xherdan Shaqiri

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp has his third signing of the 2018 summer transfer window as Liverpool completed the financially sound transfer of Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri, following Switzerland’s elimination from the 2018 World Cup, the Reds announced Friday.

Switzerland didn’t impress in the World Cup, finding a quick exit in the Round of 16 to Sweden, but Shaqiri was one of the bright spots for his national side, scoring a late winner in a critical group stage victory over Serbia and proving dangerous on the flanks cutting inside.

According to reports, Liverpool paid $17 million for Shaqiri, who follows Naby Kieta and Fabinho in the Anfield doors this summer. The 26-year-old spent three seasons at Stoke City, making 92 appearances across all competitions and scoring 15 goals while assisting 15 others. However, with Stoke City relegated, that activated a $17 million release clause which Liverpool was happy to activate.

Shaqiri said he’s wanted this move for some time. “I’m really glad and happy to be here,” he told the official Liverpool website. “As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn’t happen. I’m really happy that now I’m finally here. I want to improve myself too, I want to be with the best and I want to win titles. That’s what I’m here for.”

Shaqiri has plenty of competition for a starting spot at Liverpool. For starters, he plays on the same side as star Mohamed Salah who lit the Premier League on fire last season with his electric pace and vision both on and off the ball. With Sadio Mane equally entrenched on the other side, Shaqiri will have his work cut out for him. However, he adds important depth to a squad that seemed too heavily reliant on Salah and Mane last season, and with both players participating in the 2018 World Cup this summer, depth will be key to avoid overly tired legs or serious injury.

Shaqiri had “offers all across Europe” according to the Liverpool Echo, but the former Bayern Munich attacker chose to stay in the Premier League and move forward with the Reds.

Report: Shaqiri set for Liverpool medical on release-clause deal

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images
1 Comment

Xherdan Shaqiri‘s potential transfer from Stoke City to Liverpool has moved from “run-of-the-mill transfer rumor” to “this could actually get done and be announced tomorrow” with shocking efficiency.

[ TRANSFER RUMORS: Malcom to Spurs, Bale to Man Utd “advanced” ]

The 26-year-old Swiss star has an $17-million relegation release clause in his Stoke contract, and after the Potters were relegated from the Premier League in May, neither Shaqiri nor Stoke — who would likely be on the hook for the entirety of his reported $85,000-per-week wages — want any part of one another any longer. According to multiple reports out of the UK, he is set to undergo the standard medical examination on Friday before signing a contract to join Liverpool.

Liverpool seems a pretty natural landing spot for a player of Shaqiri’s 1) technical and physical skill set, and 2) familiarity with the PL and the English game — plus European competitions from his days at Basel — as a whole. The Reds were on the cusp of signing a very difference attacker in Lyon’s Nabil Fekir last month, but pulled the plus at the last minute when unable to agree contract structure for a player with a history of serious knee problems.

[ MORE: Mahrez, Man City share no. 1 goal: win the Champions League ]

Shaqiri is, for all intents and purposes, a perfectly suitable backup plan. The fact that he comes at a price $60 million cheaper than Fekir, and with a full understanding of the league and living in England, are just (massive and gigantic) feathers in the cap of Jurgen Klopp.

Transfer rumor roundup: Shaqiri to Liverpool, Seri to Fulham

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Xherdan Shaqiri is closing in on a move to Liverpool from Stoke City.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Swiss winger is believed to have a release clause of $17.2 million and after Stoke were relegated from the Premier League in 2017/18 he has already stated he has no desire to play in England’s second-tier.

Shaqiri, 26, joined the Potters in 2015 from Inter Milan and has scored 15 goals in 85 Premier League appearances, including eight last season as he led their offense.

Do Liverpool need another pacey winger? Probably not. But Shaqiri’s flexibility to play across the frontline and also the price he’s available at provides Jurgen Klopp with a very good deal. Shaqiri could easily come in for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane and offer very similar qualities.

Would Shaqiri start every game at Liverpool? Probably not. But working him into their rotation for the UEFA Champions League and domestic cup games makes perfect sense. With Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings unlikely to hang around at Liverpool much longer, Shaqiri heading to Anfield makes sense for everyone involved.


It appears that Premier League new boys Fulham are now the frontrunners to sign Jean Seri from Nice.

The Ivory Coast midfielder came close to joining Barcelona last summer and has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea, but the Cottagers are said to have agreed a $24 million fee with Nice.

Reports in Italy state that Seri, who has a $45 million release clause in his contract which runs out next week, is still wanted by the likes of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund but he is in London trying to finalize his move to the Premier League.

Fulham’s midfield duo of Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen was a big reason behind their promotion back to the PL via the playoffs last season and Slavisa Jokanovic believes in possession-based play. Seri’s box-to-box abilities (he scored twice and had five assists in Ligue 1 last season) and calmness on the ball mean he would be a great fit for Fulham.

If the Cottagers manage to pull this deal off it would be a major coup.

FIFA fines Xhaka, Shaqiri, Lichtsteiner for goal celebrations

AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — FIFA has fined three Switzerland players for making hand gestures of an Albanian national symbol to celebrate World Cup goals against Serbia, and cleared them to continue playing.

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri received a warning and a fine of $10,100 for unsporting behavior, in a judgment Monday by FIFA’s disciplinary panel.

Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner was warned and fined $5,050.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

The FIFA judges had the power to impose two-match bans if the actions of the players in a 2-1 win last Friday in Kaliningrad were judged to have provoked the general public.

Xhaka and Shaqiri made hand gestures of a two-headed eagle after scoring second-half goals, and Lichtsteiner joined in the celebration.