London - Xherdan Shaqiri watched Stoke lose narrowly to Liverpool last
weekend, and saw enough to convince him that he was right to become the club's
record signing, completing a £12 million move from Inter Milan on
The Swiss winger says he is fit enough to go straight into the
starting line-up at White Hart Lane, and seems eager to make a fresh start
after a brief and unhappy spell in Italy.
"I am happy that my time there was really short," he
said. "Many things were not good."
Although he refused to elaborate, his decision to leave was
undoubtedly hastened by a lack of opportunities under boss Roberto Mancini.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes is expected to give an immediate chance
to Shaqiri, who he described as a "game changer", when he names his
team to face Tottenham.
Hughes' side lacked such a player in last weekend's 1-0 defeat
against Liverpool, despite impressive displays from new boys Ibrahim Afellay
and Marco van Ginkel, and he is hopeful that his newest signing will ensure
they win tight matches, rather than lose them.
"We saw last weekend that the game changed because an
individual created something out of nothing," said Hughes, referring to
Philippe Coutinho's spectacular winner for Liverpool.
"Xherdan has that ability as well. We need players with a
sprinkle of stardust to change games."
Hughes remains without the creative talents of Marko Arnautovic
and Bojan Krkic because of injury, although the Spain forward will play for the
club's Under-21 side this weekend.