We take a look at our squad, part 2

January Transfer Window, what is needed.

Over the next week we will look at the current squad and see if we are in need of players to improve, be removed or we are just fine in that area.

Defenders

Ryan Shawcross has been missed more than some who’ve said he’s past it would like to admit. The 32 year old centre back has been dogged with injuries over the past few seasons, firstly a lower back problem that keeps rearing hits head and atm a broken leg. Contracted till June 2021 there is very little doubt he will see out his playing career at Stoke. He’s club captain, a leader & an ambassador for the club who we really need to find his successor before he stops playing.

Bruno Martins Indi Is a 27 year old centre back who can play at left back if asked. BMI signed for Stoke originally on loan back in August 2016, the loan had a permanent option attached to the loan which Stoke took up the following season after a bit of bartering with Porto over the price. Contracted to Stoke till June 2022 he his probably one of the clubs highest priced assets if we needed to sell for FFP purposes. BMI is very comfortable with the ball at his feet but not as commanding in the air as he needs to be, this highlighted a few times this season with smaller attackers getting the headers in before him.

Danny Batth Was signed by Nathan Jones in his attempt to Stop Stoke conceding so many goals. Danny is a pretty static old fashioned central defender, decent in the air but his passing is something he really needs to strengthen if he wants to be a consistent starter for Stoke going forward. Batch’s contract runs till June 2022

Liam Lindsay Is well, how can I put this!!!! A disappointment so far following his transfer from Barnsley in the summer. Liam came with a fantastic YouTube montage as most players do really, but he was widely regarded as one of the best young centre backs in league one. His form and that of the other signing Stoke made from Barnsley (Adam Davies) basically helped to get Barnsley promoted last season. Lindsay has shown nothing of that form or talent while at Stoke. Apart from his two goals he’s scored he’s probably cost us just as many goals with basic mistakes during the season. Liam surely has to improve, his contract does give him time with it running till June 2022

Nathan Collins Is an academy graduate that was getting rave reviews at Clayton Wood, so much so he was promoted through the age ranks beyond his age right up too making his debut for the first team & even Captaining the side in one game. Nathan is probably Shawcross’s natural successor going forward, Stoke need to get the two playing together more so Ryan can pass on his experience in a playing environment. Nathan Collins is just 18 years old, he still has a lot still to learn but has the basic platform to learn from. One definitely for the future

Tom Edwards Is a 20 year old right back. Tom is a boyhood Stoke fan, he has been at the club since he was 10 years old and wants success for the club as much as those in the stands. Contracted to Stoke till June. Stoke had hoped he would of pushed on this season after his decent end to last season.

Tommy Smith Was a strange signing by Nathan Jones, the club had a capable right back at the club in Edwards & Bauer in the building but Jones concentrated on bringing in a third, not only that spending more money on Smith than any other signing that window. Tommy Smith was classed as an attacking fullback with assists littered throughout his career. Non of that has yet to be seen at Stoke, infact Smith hasn’t been seen at all near the first team since appearing in the 2-0 loss to WBA back at the beginning of November. Tommy Smith is 27 years old so still can offer a lot if we can get that out of him, Smiths contract to Stoke till June 2022

Stephen Ward Is another strange signing, not because of him not fitting the criteria Nathan Jones set out in young and athletic but because Erik Pieters is was and still is a better left back than we currently have in the building but was bombed out for what I can only assume is a fall out over his media commitments with his wife. Ward is now 34 years old & contracted to Stoke till June 2020, the left back position is a massive problem at Stoke and one that needs to be addressed in January.

Harry Souttar Is the only player at the club that Peter Crouch can see eye to eye with. Standing 6 foot 7 he’s an imposing Centre back who has been playing well while out on loan with Fleetwood town. This season he’s made his international debut for Australia, even scoring 2 goals in the process. Harry is 21 years old, one for the future.

Cameron Carter-Vickers Is not what Stoke needed when he signed on loan from Tottenham In the summer window. CCV has seemed to block the process of Nathan Collins and to make things worse he’s been deployed as a right back in a few games, a position he was found wanting in. Note to Stoke board, don’t do dealing with Spurs over defenders infact apart from Crouch we have had our pants pulled down on three notable recent signings.

Moritz Bauer was brought into the club to give Tom Edwards some competition. His first 3 months at the club he seemed to be just what we needed, he showed to be good at attacking but needed coaching on his defensive positioning. The following season went all wrong with a public fall out with then manager Gary Rowett leaving Bauer our in the cold. Bauer is currently out on loan with Celtic, a move that could of become permanent if not for the emergence of Frimpong. Will we see Moritz in a Stoke shirt again, I doubt it but he’s still contract to the club till June 2023

Stoke need to sort out our defensive frailties but what is needed most?

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