One of the longest running sagas of the transfer window has ended with Stoke City confirming the signing of Bayern’s Xherdan Shaqiri. The 5-year-deal worth over £100,000-a-week, makes him Stoke’s second highest earner behind Jon Walters. Throughout the summer, Shaqiri seemed uninterested about a move to Stoke and during his unveiling, at a very tense press conference, the Champions League winner admitted as much:
“Stoke is literally the last place on earth I want to be, but they paid me the most, so what can I do? My hands are tied. This must be how African slaves felt en route to America.”
Initially Shaqiri’s agent claimed the winger had suffered a hip injury and would be unable to pass a medical. Mark Hughes felt he was lying to gain more time to seek a move elsewhere, a claim Shaqiri refutes:
“This was not a lie. I may have lied about wanting to sign for Stoke, I may have lied when I called Charlie Adam a professional ‘athlete’, but my hips, they never lie.”
While continuing to discuss his thoughts on the move, the Swiss international was frank:
“It’s very simple,” he said, pausing for a moment to think. “Stoke City is like the fat ugly girl you meet outside the chipper at 4am on a Saturday night. Obviously not your first choice but better than nothing, you figure. Now imagine, you get that girl pregnant and have to marry her. That is Stoke City.”
The refreshingly honest Swiss international described how he first reacted to the Potters’ advances: “When I first learned of Stoke’s interest and that my agent had an ongoing dialogue with them, I did what any footballer would do. I fired my agent. Then I wondered if God was punishing me for something I did in a previous life.”
Asked whether he was aware of the popular meme involving Stoke, the 23-year-old said: “Yes, I can do it on a cold, wet night in Stoke,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I just really don’t fucking want to…”
Stoke also confirmed that fans looking to get their new signing’s name on their jersey, will be forced to wait. The club’s megastore manager, Janael McConkey, said: “We ran out of X’s and Q’s after an hour. However we’ve contact Inter Milan, and they have thousands left over that we can have.”
When asked if he so far, found working with Mark Hughes to be rewarding he replied: “Yes. The money is good.”
Undeterred, Mark Hughes seemed thrilled at finally securing the former Inter Milan winger.
“I’m ecstatic to say the least, I mean we’ve just signed a player who won the treble with Bayern 3 years ago. And now he’s at Stoke with the likes of Phil Bardsley and Peter Crouch,” Hughes said as Shaqiri burst into tears. “I think this signing firmly establishes us as the new Barcelona and I’m not just saying that because we already have half their team.”
The biggest laugh of the unveiling came when one reporter asked Shaqiri which player he was most looking forward to working with. He smiled and responded, “Glenn Whelan”.