The Stoke captain was in Roy Hodgson's recent England squad and he began his career at Manchester United.
"I was delighted to see him called up for the England squad because he is a quality player I have wished - particularly of late - was still at Old Trafford," the manager said in the programme for Stoke's visit. "The problem was that at the time of his release we had an especially strong group of young centre-halves and it was becoming impossible to give them all games at the level their progress warranted.
"We had Jonny Evans, Gerard Piqué, Ryan Shawcross, Craig Cathcart, and Paul McShane, and something had to give. We made the right decision keeping Jonny Evans but I'm not so sure about letting Shawcross join Stoke."