Cameramen unenthused by what Stoke and Liverpool were churning out took to perusing the terraces for famous faces in their boredom and their venture away from the action reaped rewards in the shape of Inter Milan’s Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss forward’s presence was unexpected given that he rejected a move to the Britannia earlier in the summer, but it would appear the deal is back on.
Stoke are now just 2/5 to sign the player before the transfer window shuts.
It would appear, however, by his appearance in the stands, Shaqiri needs the Potters far more than they need him and Mark Hughes must take a hard-nosed approach to negotiations with the player should they reopen.
A month ago, Stoke weren’t prestigious enough a club for a player in his prime who had donned the sacred colours of Bayern Munich and Inter.
Now, with no superior offers on the table, the Basel academy graduate appears willing to renege on his initial stance.
But after drafting in Ibrahim Afellay, the Potters aren’t as desperate for reinforcements in the final third and adding Shaqiri to the fold would mean subtracting a substantial sum from both their transfer and wage budgets.
His behaviour earlier in the summer indicate he lacks the appropriate attitude to apply himself in the glamour-free surroundings of mid-table Premier League, or alternatively, should he flourish, the club will be dropped quicker than a burglar round Duncan Ferguson’s house.