Harry Souttar has become an extremely important player for Stoke, so to hear of his latest injury is a huge blow to all involved with the Potters.
The centre-back has looked a rock at the back and is proving to be one of the most solid defenders in the entire Championship, if not the EFL as a whole.
With the youngster now sidelined, there will be a gap at the back for Stoke that Michael O’Neill will need to address and sort out as quickly as possible.
Who then, could the Potters’ boss turn to as a potential replacement for the player?
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A wise idea for Stoke might be to look below themselves in the football pyramid to try and find a suitable replacement for now.
If they can locate a younger defender, with the potential to get even better, then it could be low risk and high reward for the Potters.
Taking a look at some of the available centre-backs in the third tier then and there are a few aged 25 or younger that could be bargain buys that could pay off.
Jack Whatmough of Wigan or Ross Sykes at Accrington could easily be picked here but instead, we’ve gone for Elliott Moore of Oxford United.
The 24-year-old has featured heavily for a side battling in the top six spots in the League One table so far this campaign, so a jump up might not be too difficult for the man who has over 100 appearances for Oxford to his name.
As a potentially more cheap but high potential option, it could be worth doing.
Could Stoke launch a big deal for the Spurs player?
Perhaps not a permanent switch but he could certainly prove to be a very useful addition on a short-term basis on loan until the summer. He is very capable at Championship level and with the player not getting much gametime at all in a Tottenham shirt, he could benefit from regular football, even if it means dropping down a tier.
Stoke would probably have to break the bank to land Rodon permanently – something which isn’t feasible. Instead, a short-term switch may be a better solution for all parties involved and would be a steal in the middle of the season for the club.
A player already at Stoke
There is no reason why the Potters couldn’t turn to somebody already on their books to step in while Souttar is absent.
It would be wise to bring in a centre-back in the winter window anyways but rather than hunting for a first-team starter, they could always find a decent squad option and promote a current player to the starting berth instead.
Ben Wilmot, James Chester, Danny Batth and Leo Ostigard can all fill in at the back if they needed to and they aren’t bad options to have.
Granted, this is the cheap option and would be the option that would likely go down the least well with Stoke fans but with the current defenders available to the club, there is no reason why one of these could not step in as a regular starter during his absence.