As a player, Stefan Effenberg was never known for mincing his words, so when it came to the subject of former Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri’s shock move to Stoke City, the Germany legend did not hold back - during an interview with Sky Deutschland.
Plenty of eyebrows were raised by the news that the Swiss attacker had agreed to move from Champions League chasing Inter Milan to Premier League outfit Stoke in a deal worth £12 million - as announced on the club's official website.
For one thing, the deal saw Shaqiri end his stint with the Nerazzurri after just six short months and, whatever way you look at it, represented a step down for a player once tipped for big things with Bayern Munich.
Speaking on the topic of Shaqiri’s move, the German claimed that a Schalke switch would have been “perfect” for the World Cup hat-trick hero.
“You play Bundesliga football in a great stadium, get your desired return to Germany and play for a great club that you can help move forward," he said.
"But Stoke? Come on, I cannot understand the player, his agent, his parents or his brother. This is a shame and a sad state of affairs. Only because they are throwing around cash? Is it really all about money for footballers these days?"
Shaqiri will wear the number 22 shirt for Stoke, with that particular number already selling out in the Potters’ club shop.
His arrival marks the latest chapter in a remarkable transformation for the Britannia side, who already count ex-Barcelona pair Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay among the squad.
The signing of Shaqiri also saw Stoke smash their previous club record transfer, having previously paid £10 million for striker Peter Crouch.
Manager Mark Hughes will now be hoping Shaqiri can shake off the kind of criticism levelled at him by ex-pros like Effenberg and let his football do the talking.