Hughes expecting more from Stoke pair

Mark Hughes believes Xherdan Shaqiri and Giannelli Imbula will star for Stoke next season after getting the taste for English football.

Stoke: Hughes expecting more from Stoke pairStoke: Hughes expecting more from Stoke pair

The Potters broke their own transfer record twice last term, firstly to sign Switzerland international Shaqiri from Inter Milan before smashing it again in January when splashing out over £18million for Imbula.

Both showed glimpses of what they are capable of during their first season at the bet365 Stadium and Hughes is expecting them to kick on when the new campaign starts.

Discussing his hopes for Shaqiri next season, Hughes told the Sentinel: “I think Shaq made an impact and we are pleased with what he’s done.

“You have understand that for creative players in the Premier League it’s more difficult for them to have an influence in every single game.

“But there’s an understanding that this can happen and what we anticipate now is that given Shaq has had a full year in the Premier League, he’ll have a better understanding of what’s required and will benefit from that.”

Meanwhile, the Welshman wants to see Imbula hit the ground running this season, claiming he has learnt a lot during his first six months in English football.

“It’s difficult coming in mid-season because he hasn’t had the benefit of a pre-season with us, so I’m looking forward to working with him and he’s going to be really important for us next year,” he added.

“His influence in games was good for us for the most part, but there’s certain elements he knows he’ll do better in and we will once again reap the benefits of somebody understanding the league better having had game time.”

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