Stoke City could be left facing a major challenge this summer in the transfer market with the possibility of them needing to replace the influential presence of Nathan Collins.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Collins’ long-term future at Stoke this summer, with Burnley having been consistently linked with a move for the 20-year-old. The Clarets are thought to have already submitted offers for the defender to the Potters with them determined to sign one of their key targets.
We at Football League World revealed this morning that Burnley are finally set to land their man with the Clarets close to agreeing on a deal worth around £12 million with the Potters.
It is thought that Burnley have already got a medical lined up for Collins with them keen to tie up the deal swiftly to avoid suffering the frustration of missing out on the 20-year-old.
With Collins closing in on an exit from Stoke, we look at THREE replacements the Potters should consider with the funds they will bring in…
This is a player that would likely have been out of Stoke’s price range this summer if they were not set to receive around £12 million for Collins.
However, the Potters could now make a move for Oxford United’s in-demand defender Rob Atkinson as a potential replacement for the 20-year-old.
Atkinson is a player with vast amounts of potential and he has shown that with his excellent form for Oxford in League One last term. The 22-year-old managed to make 41 appearances and helped his side record 11 clean sheets as they reached the play-offs.
Stoke would have to move swiftly to make this one happen, with Atkinson already having been the subject of a £1.4 million offer from Bristol City according to Bristol Live.
Given Atkinson’s age and potential, this would be an ideal potential replacement for Collins if Stoke release the funds for O’Neill to pull this one-off.
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Again, this is another player that Stoke would not have been able to afford this summer really without the potential money coming in for Collins. However, with those funds they could look to secure a move for Wolves’ in-demand defender Dion Sanderson.
Sanderson is going to be allowed to leave Wolves this summer for the right price, after he delivered a string of impressive performances for Sunderland during his loan spell at the Stadium of Light last season.
The Black Cats are keen to re-sign him as a result, and according to the Daily Mail they have already seen a £1 million offer turned down by Wolves for him this summer. The Premier League are believed to be holding out for around £2 million.
Stoke would also need to move swiftly to make this deal happen, but Sanderson appears to be a player that is ready for regular Championship football and he can also cover both centre-back and full-back positions like Collins was able to do.
Someone at the other end of the experience scale that Stoke should consider as a potential replacement for Collins is former Bristol City defender Nathan Baker.
The experienced defender is available to be signed on a free transfer this summer having been one of a number of players allowed to leave Bristol City at the end of their deals.
Baker has already been linked with a potential move to Coventry City this summer, but as of yet the Sky Blues have yet to make a formal move for the 30-year-old.
The defender is someone that is proven at Championship level and he offers a commanding presence at the back. You could see O’Neill getting the best out of him at the Bet365 Stadium and he would be able to bring a lot of extra experience to the table.
This would be one for Stoke to consider if they feel they want to keep the vast majority of the money they are set to receive for Collins, or if they feel it would better spent in other areas of the squad.