As Basel midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri reportedly heads to Bayern Munich, it begs the question why Premier League clubs have allowed the Swiss sensation to slip from their respective grasps.
According to Bild, Bayern have agreed a fee of with Basel for Shaqiri, and the 20-year-old will complete his move to the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.
Manchester United and Liverpool have both been credited with interest in Shaqiri, but appear to be set to miss out on the youngster who, at £10 million, is seemingly available at a relative snip.
But why have United and Liverpool have overlooked a player as supremely gifted as Shaqiri remains a mystery, and their loss will be the significant gain of Bayern.
Sir Alex Ferguson has experienced the talents of Shaqiri at close quarters, with the youngster featuring prominently in the Basel side that dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League this season.
Although he did feature in the first meeting between the two sides at Old Trafford, Shaqiri impressed in the reverse fixture at St Jakob Park, in which Basel triumphed 2-1.
Naturally, it is impossible for Ferguson to sign every player that excels against his side, but few possess the talent of Shaqiri as well as being purchasable at a minimal fee.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have demonstrated in recent times a market strategy to invest in the finest young talent available both in the United Kingdom and on the continent.
Shaqiri is undoubtedly one of the most technically proficient and intelligent players of his age in Europe, and would have been an ideal acquisition for Liverpool in fitting with the recruitment model of John Henry and Damien Comolli.
The young attacker is adept at using both feet and, although most comfortable when playing in a wide role, is also confident and capable when operating through the middle.
His versatility as well as his ability from dead ball situations makes would have made him a more than useful addition for United or Liverpool, who have both been lacking creative influences in midfield.
In terms of his career statistics, Shaqiri has scored 22 goals in 129 appearances for club and country, although a pass success rate of less than 80 percent this season is something he will need to address.
Shaqiri's strengths, however, do not lie in short one-touch passes, but he often prefers to trade in more expansive balls, and is effective when exploring this option.
Shaqiri is still undoubtedly a rough diamond and a move to Old Trafford or Anfield would have encouraged the best of out him.
But, it would seem, Shaqiri is destined for Germany, and Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish may one day come to regret the day they missed out on the Swiss starlet.
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