Stoke City-Buy or Avoid?
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 8 May 2018 at 9:37pm
Written by @Bobstonian
As of Game week 37, Stoke have been mathematically relegated from the Premier League. Below is a list of popular players that the club, in my opinion, should sign (or not sign). I have purposely excluded Shawcross and all players over 31 years old. Glenn Johnson, Charlie Adams, and Stephen Ireland are out of contract in the summer.
Stoke – BUY:
Pace, touch & quality from set pieces. He should be available for a reasonable price due to a release clause in his contract. He seems to be highly coveted by several teams, with Everton currently the favorites to sign him. Taking the injury record of Antonio in to account, spending on the right wing may make sense.
If he can make it to Russia, his value will increase. National team goalkeepers are always marketable assets in the league. I expect that our club will not be willing to pay up for his services. In my opinion, he is the most desirable keeper from all relegation candidates, and Arsenal seem very interested in Butland as a replacement for Cech.
Allen was rumored as a club target before his team was destined for relegation. He can improve our distribution in the midfield. He is 28, and started his senior career back in 2007. I fear his work rate may decrease. However, I see him as a player who can compensate for this inevitable decline in foot speed with his positioning and skill.
The club will need to recruit more center backs this summer. We have played a full-back out of position in our back three for most of the season. Winston Reid will be 30 in the summer, and is nursing a knee injury. If next year’s manager desires three in the back, a starting-caliber center-half is needed to play with Ogbonna and Rice. Martins Indi is my pick from the Stoke squad, but he has been hampered by a groin injury this season. He did feature in 30+ league games last season, collecting 11 clean sheets.
Stoke – AVOID:
Stoke clearly payed Spurs too much for Wimmer over the summer. I doubt Stoke will be willing to take a loss on their original investment. He is young, and showed promise under Pochettino, but his price tag will be very off-putting for most clubs.
Berahino is another player that the Potters overpaid for. He has not played meaningful minutes in the last two seasons. He is a versatile attacker who can play on both sides, but I believe Stoke will demand too high of a transfer fee.
The Egyptian international is 21, and could be available for a reasonable price due to his lack of playing time. He does prefer to play on the left side, and would have to compete with the likes of Lanzini, Masuaku and Arnautovic. Stoke will want to give him minutes in the Championship. The club should prioritize spending on a different position.
8 years older than Sobhi, and also plays on the left. He had a promising start to the season, and then experienced a drop in form. There is no need to prioritize spending on this player.
Diouf boasted a respectable goal record in the Bundesliga. He scored 11 goals in his inaugural Premier League season. Since then, he has scored 12 goals in 87 games. He has shown versatility at different positions, but only has 9 career league assists to his name.
Stoke have some players on the wings and up the middle that are worth a look in the transfer season. I can’t see us outspending other clubs for Shaqiri or Butland. I believe we will pursue Allen in the summer, and hope we also inquire about Martins Indi.