Stoke City have endured a challenging first half of the season, with the Potters having already replaced Nathan Jones with Michael O’Neill, and managed to claim just 18 points in the Championship so far.
That sees the Potters occupying a place inside the Championship’s bottom three at Christmas, and despite a slight up turn in form since O’Neill took charge, with Stoke winning their first two matches under the Northern Irishman, a run of just one win in their last six league games leaves the club deep in a relegation battle.
O’Neill will be keen to re-shape the squad during the January transfer window, as he looks to put his stamp on the side, with the Potters needing to get rid of some of their highest earners who are not featuring regularly, in order to invest in much-needed reinforcements in the winter window.
Here then, we take a look at THREE January transfers that could be set to happen at Stoke when the window opens…
Badou Ndiaye’s exit
Ndiaye is one of the players in Stoke’s squad who looks likely to be leaving the club in January, with the midfielder thought to be nearing a move to Turkish side Trabzonspor, which would see the 29-year-old make a return to the Turkish top flight having spent last season on loan with Galatasaray, making 23 appearances for the club.
The midfielder returned to Stoke in the summer and was unable to secure a permanent move, and he was brought back into the fold by Jones during the first few months of the campaign, and Ndiaye has produced some effective performances in midfield for the Potters in his 13 Championship appearances so far this term.
However, since O’Neill took over at the Bet365 Stadium, Ndiaye has found his involvement limited, with the Northern Irishman preferring the likes of Joe Allen, Sam Clucas, Jordan Cousins and Ryan Woods ahead of the midfielder in the last few weeks, which will probably see the 29-year-old move elsewhere for regular minutes.
QUIZ: Can you name the last 13 Stoke City players to wear the number 9 shirt?
Tyrese Campbell’s departure
Campbell is another player who could be on his way out of the Bet365 Stadium in January, with the striker having yet to feature since O’Neill took over as the club’s new manager, having enjoyed a breakthrough into the first team during the first few months of the season, making 13 appearances and scoring his first league goal for the club against Fulham.
However, the 19-year-old has been a victim of O’Neill’s decision to change Stoke’s formation to a 4-3-3, with the Northern Irishman doubting whether the forward has the ability to lead the line up front on his own, which has seen him fall behind the likes of Lee Gregory, Sam Vokes, Scott Hogan and Mane Biram Diouf in the pecking order.
Campbell, though, has shown his potential to develop into a promising forward during the first half of the season, and that has seen him attract the interest of Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers, which could see the 19-year-old leave the Bet365 Stadium for the SPFL in January.
Sam Cosgrove’s potential arrival
Stoke have struggled for goals during the first half of the season, and although O’Neill has managed to get his side scoring a few more than they were at the start of the campaign, the Northern Irishman is still searching for the right striker to lead the line for the club and score the goals to help fire them to safety.
The Potters are one of a number of Championship sides to have been linked with a move for Cosgrove in January, with the forward having scored 11 goals in 18 appearances for Aberdeen so far this campaign, which follows on from an impressive tally of 17 that he registered last term in the SPFL.
Cosgrove certainly offers the sort of physical presence needed to lead the line up front on his own, which would see him suit the Potters’ new formation under O’Neill, while he would also arrive full of confidence in front of goal which has been lacking in Stoke’s forwards this term, but O’Neill’s side will face a lot competition to secure his signature.