Stoke City

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The Championship

Round 21

2021-12-05 14:30:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2021/2022

Stoke City

In


Ben Wilmot (def) Watford; Mario Vrancic (mid) Norwich; Jack Bonham (gk) Gillingham

Out


Nathan Collins (r) (def) Burnley; Angus Gunn (r) (gk) Southampton – end of loan; Rhys Norrington-Davies (r) (def) Sheff Utd – end of loan; Jack Clarke (sp) (mid) Tottenham – end of loan; Sam Vokes (sp) (att) Wycombe; Rabbi Matondo (mid) Schalke – end of loan; Kevin Wimmer (def) Rapid Vienna; Jordan Cousins (sp) (mid) Wigan; Ryan Woods (mid) Birmingham; Moritz Bauer (def) Ufa; John Obi Mikel (r) (mid) Kuwait SC; Bruno Martins Indi (def) AZ Alkmaar; Liam Lindsay (def) Preston; Badou Ndiaye (mid) Aris Thessaloniki; Benik Afobe (att) Millwall – on loan; Peter Etebo (mid) Watford – on loan; Blondy Nna Noukeu (sp) (gk) Crawley – on loan; Connor Taylor (def) Bristol Rovers – on loan

Stoke started well last season and looked like genuine play-off contenders but an injury to star striker Tyrese Campbell led to a loss of form. They couldn’t really get going again and ended up finishing 13th. Michael O’Neill has trimmed down his bloated squad over the summer, getting rid of rarely used players. There have been several notable departures. Experienced, influential midfielder Mikel and highly rated centre-back Collins have left while impressive January loan signing Norrington-Davies has gone back to parent club Chelsea. Coming in, England U21 international Wilmot looks like a straight replacement for Collins, he made 14 starts for Watford last season. Creative midfielder Vrancic has plenty of Championship pedigree and played a significant part in Norwich’s title-winning campaign last season. A real weakness last season was a lack of goals. Campbell bagged six in 13 starts but didn’t feature past December due to a serious knee injury (which he is still recovering from). Attacking midfielder Powell was Stoke's top scorer last season with 12. Steven Fletcher has hit form in pre-season, the experienced striker struggled with injuries last season. The Potters do have a good mix of youth and experience in their squad. By the amount of outgoings over the summer, O’Neill has thoroughly assessed his squad and knows the players who are right to take the club forward.

Target


After a couple of disappointing seasons Stoke seem to have the right platform now to mount a challenge for a play-off place.

Season Review
2020/2021

№14: Stoke City

Stoke had seemed so good early on in the season with Tyrese Campbell looking like he was going to single-handedly take them up into play-off contention with a string of goals and assists. But Campbell then went on to miss much of the campaign with a serious injury and the Potters struggled. They scored only 50 goals, a real area of weakness, although player of the season Nick Powell did manage 12 largely from midfield. The defence did excel though as they only conceded 52. Harry Souttar's emergence was a positive but the goalkeeper situation did not help with three keepers used throughout the campaign. Michael O'Neill initially enjoyed rave reviews as Stoke manager but the last few months have stalled progress and they finished weakly in the bottom half of the table. It is a vital summer now for Stoke. They badly need new signings, especially in attack. But they have a large squad too with Sam Vokes failing to score and other squad players disappointing too, so there could be plenty of movement.


Player of the Season: Nick Powell

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