The Swiss star joined the Potteries club two years after winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich where legend Stefan Effenberg claimed he had been badly advised.
But Shaqiri is now looking a million dollars with his high-calibre performances for a delighted Mark Hughes.
And the Stoke boss, while not wanting to attract any interest from other clubs, says Shaq is worth a “hell of a lot more” than the £12 million he paid in 2015.
The “Alpine Messi” is on fire for club and country where Shaqiri was brilliant in Switzerland’s slalom ride to the World Cup after condemning Northern Ireland to the slippery slope of elimination.
Now, Shaqiri comes down to earth with a trip to Brighton tomorrow night and another chance to be the star of the show.
Hughes said: “The criticism abroad was fierce and it’s probably still out there to a lesser extent. People understand now that he’s at a good Premier League club.
“One which constantly goes up against some of the top teams in Europe. When Shaq is playing well against these teams then people will think, well actually he’s not doing as bad as maybe people make out.
“And he’s not at as bad a club as people maybe envisaged. And that’s credit to him. I think certainly when he came here, people questioned his decision to go from the likes of Bayern Munich and Milan to come to Stoke.
“People still probably question him. But he knows what he gets here. He knows the work and the support that he gets. And I think that’s why he’s able to perform at the level he is at the moment.
“I think he came back in the summer with a real focus on making sure he was going to have a good season. And he’s sustained it. I don’t think people have been questioning him, certainly no-one in these parts.”
Shaqiri is definitely attracting admiring glances and the £12 million cheque signed to bring him to the Premier League certainly looks a snip.
Hughes added: “In the current market, the £12 million doesn’t look a significant amount. But for us it was still significant money.
“Not that we’re advocating or encouraging anyone to think we’re going to sell him, but he would be worth a hell of a lot more than that if he was on the market.
“He is more effective, though, and he knows what he has to do in certain games against certain individuals. I think he’s taken on more of the role of the main instigator of our attacking threat.
“When he gets the ball I think the whole team responds to that. You sense that something is going to happen. The crowd sense it and the opposition, too. That’s credit to him because of the way he’s playing.”
Source : EXPRESS