Xherdan Shaqiri: Mark Hughes defends Stoke record signing

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Xherdan Shaqiri 'excited' to join Stoke City

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has dismissed claims that Xherdan Shaqiri's move from Inter Milan is "all about money".

The Switzerland winger, 23, who also played for Bayern Munich, has joined City for £12m on a five-year deal.

Former Bayern midfielder Stefan Effenberg said the transfer was a "sad state of affairs".

Hughes defended the club's record signing insisting it was "about playing time" and that Stoke could not "blow people out of the water".

Former Germany international Effenberg claimed Shaqiri had been "badly advised" by going to Stoke when he could have signed for German club Schalke, who will play in the Europa League this season.

He said: "This is a shame and a sad state of affairs. Only because they are throwing around cash? Is it really all about money for footballers these days?"

But Hughes said Effenberg "hasn't really got his finger on the pulse of world football" after moving to the United States.

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Shaqiri, who has scored 17 goals for Switzerland, also dismissed Effenberg's criticism.

"He has no job at the moment, so he can talk - he's a free man," Shaqiri said.

The former Basel winger, who was born in Kosovo, said he is fit and he could be in contention to make his Premier League debut at Tottenham Hotspur (15:00 BST) on Saturday.

Stoke City's other summer signings
Moha El Ouriachi (Barcelona)Joselu (Hannover 96)
Shay Given (Aston Villa)Philipp Wollscheid (B Leverkusen)
Jakob Haugaard (FC Midtjylland)Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea - loan)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona)

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