Hughes backs Shaqiri to shine for Stoke City after leading his country to World Cup qualification


After Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri led his country to the 2018 World Cup, his club manager hopes he can now replicate his international form domestically.

Switzerland beat Northern Ireland over two legs, in controversial fashion, to book their place in Russia next summer, with Shaqiri starting both games for his national side.

Potters manager Mark Hughes hopes that the 26-year-old can now use his international success as motivation to push on in the Premier League.

“I think in Shaq’s (Shaqiri’s) case, his form, general play and his level in training has been superb since he’s come back and from the beginning of the season,” said Hughes.

“From our point of view, we’re really encouraged with what he’s producing.

“Now he’s going to a World Cup, he can park that for a number of months now and concentrate on being successful.

Hughes thinks there’s a group of players in the Premier League who ‘sprinkle stardust’, with the ability to win a game on their own, and he puts Shaqiri in that category.

“In every Premier League team, there’s at least one or two players in every team who can push results towards you, and clearly Shaq is one of them.”

Shaqiri scored his first goal of the season against Leicester last time out, and will be hoping for a repeat in this round of games, as they take on Brighton on Monday night at 8pm.


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