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STOKE CITY: Will Bony, Martins Indi & Allen deliver for the Potters?

Manager Mark Hughes has made some decent acquisitions in the last couple of years as the Potters continue to grow in the Premier League.

He has again been positive this past summer so this time round with six new signings which will strengthen their squad, but only three are expected to have any impact this season.

A top-seven target is their aim after three consecutive ninth-place finishes and if play to their potential it is well within their reach this season.

However, it will be the established crop who are at the coalface for the Potters as only one or two of the new signings have the capability of playing a key role.


Stoke City - 2016/17

Key signings


Wilfried Bony - from Manchester City on loan

Possibility the biggest Stoke signing of the summer is proven Premier League hitman Bony on a season-long loan from Man City.

Big things were expected of the the Ivorian after his big-money move from Swansea City but the presence of a guy named Sergio Aguero, married with niggling injuries, have kept Bony out of the starting XI at the Etihad.

Scored just four times in 28 appearances last season but his 17 goals for the Swans in 2013/14 proves he has what it takes at Premier League level.

A consistently scoring frontman who hits well into double figures may just be what Stoke require to challenge for a Europa League place but don't bank everything on him.


Joe Allen - from Liverpool for £13m

Coming off the back of an impressive Euro2016 for Wales, Allen will be hoping to hold down a regular starting spot at Stoke and shine like he did at Swansea before his move to Liverpool.

The midfielder never really found his feet on Merseyside, but a transfer to the Potteries could hold the key to reigniting his career under fellow Welshman Hughes.

Allen will be hoping to continue his Euros form into the Premier League campaign and play a key part in his side's success in 2015/16.

At 26, still has plenty of upside, especially with 130 top flight appearances and 32 internationals under his belt.


Bruno Martins Indi - from Porto on loan

Martins Indi shone at the 2014 World Cup which prompted Porto to land the Dutch international from Feyenoord soon after.

But the centre-back has failed to fully establish himself in Portugal so far and he has moved to the Britannia Stadium in the hope of catching the eye of potential suitors, including Stoke, who could sign him permanently after the current campaign.

The 24 year-old could prove to be a neat signing if he is played regularly, and could form a strong central defensive pairing with captain Ryan Shawcross.


Other signings


Ramadan Sobhi - from Al-Ahly for £15m

The highly-rated Egyptian comes to Stoke having enjoyed a fruitful time with Al-Ahly in Cairo.

Sobhi is certainly seen as a key player for the future but in order for him to reach his enormous potential, will be given chances by Hughes.

Already has a pair of Premier League sub appearances to his name which shows that he will get the opportunities, particularly while Ibrahim Afellay is sidelined.

At 19 years of age, has already played seven times for Egypt.


Ryan Sweeney - from AFC Wimbledon for £250,000

This young 19-year-old was scouted by Tottenham Hotspur and snubbed the North London side before signing a new deal with AFC Wimbledon in March.

But just five months later, Hughes persuaded the highly-rated defender to move to Stoke and he is one to look out for in the future.

Sweeney has made one appearance for the U18 Republic of Ireland squad and is set to play a role in his senior side for both club and country soon.


Lee Grant - from Derby County on loan

33-year-old Grant has been signed on a short-term loan from Derby in order for Stoke to deal with the loss of Jack Butland.

The Potters' number one is facing an uncertain amount of time on the sidelines so opted to bring in Grant, who has over 350 games experience in the Championship.

Provides depth behind veteran Shay Given and the promising Jakob Haugaard.


Overall

The addition of Bony could hold the key to Stoke's campaign this season. If he gets back to his free-scoring ways, then Stoke's creativity in the form of Marko Arnautovic, Bojan Krkic and Afellay (when fit) will only follow suit.

They have sold defender Marc Wilson to Bournemouth and loaned Philipp Wollschield has been loaned to Wolfsburg but Martins Indi should provide the quality at the back.

Allen will provide the creativity in midfield and crucially they have kept hold of Bojan and Arnautovic who have the spark and magic.

If the new signings gel together, the Europa League is a realistic target and perhaps a piece of silverware in the form of a cup as well.

But, it is a massive 'if'…


Tribal's Transfer Rating:
6.5/10

Joe Baker
About the author

Joe Baker

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