Stoke can attract more top talent, says Hughes

Xherdan Shaqiri impressive performance in Stoke City's dismantling of Manchester City at the weekend has left manager Mark Hughes optimistic his side will attract more top talent from Europe in the coming transfer windows.

Midfielder Shaqiri, signed for a record 12 million pounds ($18.1 million) from Inter Milan in the close season, starred in Stoke's 2-0 win, setting up both goals for Marko Arnautovic, while Bojan Krkic, formerly of Barcelona, also impressed.

"Top players want to come and play in the Premier League and the top four or five teams can only sign so many," Hughes told British media.

"So there's exceptional players out there that you can bring in. We offer a lot. We offer stability and, if they play well enough, game time and continuity on a daily basis."

The manager, who allowed Bojan to spearhead the attack with Shaqiri and Arnautovic on the flanks, revealed he had been toying with the idea of changing his system in the weeks before the City game.

"To be perfectly honest it has been in my mind for a good number of weeks now but I was never able to commit to it beforehand," Hughes told Stoke's website. "Maybe that was a consequence of not being brave enough up until now.

"It could have gone the wrong way of course, but in fairness I was incredibly confident that the players were ready to have a real go at it."

The win knocked City off the top of the Premier League table into third place and lifted Stoke to 10th, a point outside the top six.

Keeper Jack Butland backed Shaqiri to build on his performance. "The first two times Shaq got the ball, he ran down the line and crossed it and we got two goals. There's not much more you can ask than that. We've been waiting for him to really turn up and show what he's about and he did that," he said.

"We knew it was there and that it was going to take him time to adjust but that was a really eye-opening performance."