Article by @scfc_fan43
Stoke’s 2016/17 season won’t be remembered as a classic season for the Staffordshire side. The Potters finished 13th and are going to need to improve this season. We have compiled a report on four positions Stoke must strengthen in to have a successful 2017/18 campaign.
Stoke are usually known for having a strong defence however last season Mark Hughes’s side were conceding goals at an alarming rate. Stoke conceded four goals in a game seven times! Players like Shawcross aren’t getting any younger, therefore, it would be a sensible choice to buy a couple centre back’s. It also doesn’t help that Martins Indi has gone back to FC Porto but will Stoke try and make that a permanent move? It does look unlikely though as Hughes stated that Indi’s time at the club has reached its end. It would be a good move if Stoke brought in Diego Llorente from Real Madrid. The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Bet365 Stadium for a while now. If Stoke could get him in this would be an enormous coup for The Potters.
While Erik Pieters isn’t a bad backup option he shouldn’t be a first-team player. His crossing last year was woeful and all in all, he just isn’t a great player. A good replacement would be Hull City’s, Andrew Robertson. The youngster has a bright future ahead, however, it looks unlikely that Stoke will sign him due to the interest from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Stoke have also been linked with Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs. It’s likely that Gibbs won’t be in Arsène Wenger’s plans after the signing of left-back Sead Kolasinac. Gibbs would be a level above Pieters and Gibbs has more experience in the league than Pieters which could prove pivotal. Stoke have also been linked with 18-year-old Josh Tymon. Tymon played twelve games in all competitions for Hull last year. But is Tymon ready for the Premier League?
Goals were hard to come by for Stoke last year. The Potters top goalscorer was 36-year-old Peter Crouch who finished the season with ten goals. While Stoke do have Saido Berahino he is very unreliable. Stoke may want to sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea. Tammy was on loan at Bristol City last season where he scored 23 goals in the Championship to help keep City up. If they can’t secure the services of him they should look at New Zealand international Chris Wood. Chris Wood scored 30 goals in all competitions for Leeds last year where they narrowly missed out on a play-off place. Another option for Mark Hughes is to try and bring in Michy Batshuayi on loan. The Belgian striker was starved of first-team football at Stamford Bridge and he scored five goals in the Premier League last year (including the goal which won them the league.) All three of these players could be lethal in the Premier League.
Ok, so Stoke have alot of midfielders but most of them aren’t Premier League standard players. Players like Charlie Adam aren’t going to be needed for the 2017/18 season especially after Stoke signed Darren Fletcher. Stoke especially needs someone to slot in just in front of the defence. A player like Kevin Stewart would be perfect for The Potters. The 23-year-old has found it hard to break into Liverpool’s first-team so maybe he’s looking for a move away from Anfield. Stewart would offer some protection for the defence which is what Stoke’s defence needs especially after last year.
Stoke fans, where do you think Stoke need to strengthen?
Feature image: SoccerSouls