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Hamburg Claim First Place Ahead of Liverpool, Spurs, City & Arsenal In Race For Swiss Star

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Switzerland were for many years one of the jokes of European football, they would sometimes scrape into a competition and then never really trouble anyone once they were there, their highlight of recent years was beating Spain in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Things are slowly changing however and they aren’t exactly being tipped as tournament winners of the future but they are cultivating a decent group of young players, and one of the people at the forefront of that is 20 year old Xherdan Shaqiri.

The midfielder has been linked with some big clubs across Europe but it now appears that German side Hamburg are leading the charge, thinking that the Swiss international can turn around their awful start to the Bundesliga season that currently see’s them rooted to the bottom of the table.  Previously the FC Basle man had been linked to Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester City…who hasn’t been linked to the Eastlands club though?

Shaqiri is now in his 3rd season with the Swiss club after making his debut as an 18 year old in the 09-10 season.  He has helped his team to 2 league titles as well as a couple of domestic cup wins, there is now the definite suggestion however that it is time for him to move on.  His exploits on the international stage have brought him to the attention of many and thus the race to sign him is a big one.

According to the Metro, Hamburg are the team most likely to complete his signing but I do question the validity of these claims.  The newspaper reckon that an offer of around £7million could convince Basle to sell, that to me sounds a touch on the cheap side for someone who is widely regarded as one of the best young players in Europe.

There have always been questions over the players temperament however, and this is supposedly why some teams have not made moved for the youngster previously, this seems to be a growing trend in young players and one that sadly I cannot see diminishing any time soon.  If it is true that his attitude is putting off bigger clubs this will definitely be to the advantage of Hamburg who ordinarily would probably not be able to complete with some of the Premier League powerhouses that have also supposedly been interested over recent months.

The player has not ruled out a move to a bigger league but he has committed the immediate future to Basle, speaking to goal.com he said:

“I don’t know (about the future)….I am with Basel, want to win the championship with them and am playing in the Champions League with Basel….I do not know what will happen later in the future but I am with Basel now and it is good for me.”.

This would suggest that his immediate future remains in Switzerland and that it would seem unlikely that he could be on the move in January, but what will happen next Summer remains to be seen.  Clearly he will not remain at Basel for life, he is better than that, but another few years in Switzerland might not be the worst thing if he wants to continue to improve out of the spotlight.  Whether Hamburg is the right choice long term however I am unsure, clearly they are a big club but they are not as high profile of some of the English clubs he has been linked too.

What sort of job could be do for English teams though and how well would he fit into our game?  Predominantly a wide man I think his game would adapt well to top flight football in this country.  He has pace and strength and obviously they are vital attributes to succeed but he is also wonderfully gifted technically and that could make him a real threat.  There are however some problems, at times he can be a little selfish with the ball, but at his relatively young age and under the right management that can be worked on.

As with many young players he just needs to be playing football and therefore it could be argued that Hamburg would be the best destination, his game time might be more limited at Arsenal, Manchester City or Liverpool.  There is still a long way to go in this one, but Shaqiri is definitely one of the best prospects in Europe and I would imagine he will be on the move next Summer.

For more of my thoughts on football, follow me on twitter @thegoatfeeder and for all things Manchester City check out Thoughts From The Invisible Man…

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I am a huge Manchester City fan, but also a fan of football as a game. I like to watch games at all levels, from Blue Square Premier, right up to the Premier League where I have a season ticket at City. I really enjoy writing for This Is Futbol because it allows me to give my thoughts on the very latest pieces of football news. I also run thoughtsfromtheinvisibleman.blogspot.com for all things Manchester City.

2 comments

  • davi says:

    If he came to arsenal, he would be playing every game. Wenger would treat him as he treated nasri. From what I’ve seen, he’s quite a similar player to arshavin, except that he is more than willing to use his physical power to help the defence, and he’s actually good at it. What’s more, he has much more determination going forward, and I can’t imagine he would be as poor as arshavin has been since his first half-season. Like nasri, he would quickly establish himself as a clearly better option over arshavin, and would be an important player to our currently uninspiring attack, and wenger would have no option but to play him. He looks well capable of playing in the PL, a much more competitive league than the bundesliga, and for that reason, arsenal (as well as newcastle and liverpool, to be fair) is a much better option than hamburg for him at this point. I hope we go for him.

  • Nuno says:

    Hamburg could never afford him, they are almost broke. Don’t believe the roumors about his alleged ‘bad attitude’, it’s simply not true.

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