Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri
Image from: zimbio.com

Xherdan Shaqiri

Current Club: Stoke City.

Previous Clubs: Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, FC Basel.

Loan Clubs: Inter Milan.

International: Switzerland 74 caps 21 goals.

Trophies Won: UEFA Champions League 2012/13. Bundesliga 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15. German Cup 2012/13, 2013/14. Swiss Super League 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12. Swiss Cup 2010, 2012. FIFA Club World Cup 2014. UEFA Supercup 2013/14. German Super Cup 2012/13. Swiss Footballer of the Year 2011, 2012.

The 'Powercube', as he is known, is a squat, powerful player, almost impossible to knock off the ball, with pace and skill and the ability to deliver excellent quality with his left foot, crossing, shooting and passing. Shaqiri is capable of providing a killer pass or scoring from all over pitch, as well as having a very good delivery from set pieces. When he is motivated, such as when the Swiss faced Serbia, then he is a dangerous player.

The problem is not with his ability, his technique is solid, but he is sadly not using his ability to its best. There is the constant hands on hips stance, stood stock still glaring at a team mate who dared to make a pass to anyone else. The shooting from ridiculous angles and distances despite the numerous team mates better positioned for an easy pass that he chooses to ignore, time after time after time. The word selfish could have been invented to sum up Shaqiri.

His workrate is another aspect of that selfishness, tracking back is something other players do so he can saunter around watching. It is very rare that he makes any genuine effort to work back or do much in the way of work full stop. While it could be said he is saving himself to use his energy on the attacking end, his work going forward shows signs of a lack of effort too. There is little thought, little in the way of runs forward made, it is almost entirely dropping off to receive the ball.

That lack of variation is another problem, there is a reason why there are only ever flashes of quality from him, that is because his lack of variation makes him easy to mark. You know exactly what he wants to do and so you can prepare. Unlike someone like Arjen Robben, he lacks that special ability to do what he wants to do regardless of how well you know what he is setting out to do.

I would not include his lack of height and aerial presence as a weakness. If he was good in the air it would be a bonus, rather than it being a part of the type of game he plays. However there is one more very serious flaw he needs to rectify - injuries. He is incredibly injury prone for someone built like a bull. He is often missing through niggles, maybe it is possibly because he is training too much for strength and thigh size and not enough for stamina and endurace?

Requested by Prince hendo