Class of 2015-16: Midfielders
The third instalment of our Class of 2015-16 review takes us into the midfield.
We welcomed a new record signing midway through the season and Giannelli Imbula gets a B for his displays during his opening months in a Stoke shirt.
Here is how everybody got on, including a couple of forgotten men…
Glenn Whelan: A-
Regularly wearing the armband through the season, Whelan is like a fine wine- he improves with age. He does the quiet and dirty things so well and always likely to be the man to mop up a teammate’s error.
Stephen Ireland: C+
Had some good moments during his fleeting appearances, none more so than a game changing cameo at White Hart Lane where Ireland helped Stoke secure their first point of the season.
Ibrahim Afellay: A
Afellay’s season started off poorly, with the Dutchman seeing red against West Brom in August. But things soon improved and his intelligence with the ball has been one of the brighter sights of the whole campaign. Sadly a knee injury has ruled the ex-Barcelona man out for the remainder of 2016.
Giannelli Imbula: B
Stoke’s record signing started life at the club like an absolute world beater. Unsurprisingly that form has tailed off a little bit, but the promise Imbula has shown bodes well for a bright future.
Marco van Ginkel: C-
A player who arrived with much hype failed to emulate the departed Steven Nzonzi. One of his final moments in a Stoke shirt saw him strike the post at Anfield. Had he scored, Stoke would have been on their way to Wembley.
Charlie Adam: C-
Sadly failed to replicate his end of season form of 2014-15, whilst being another player on the end of a fairly lengthy injury. Could be one of the big names to depart this summer.
Steve Sidwell: D
His move to Stoke didn’t really work out having failed to be given a real opportunity to make his mark. Loaned out to Brighton in January, he was unlucky not to gain promotion with the Seagulls.
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