Having slumped to an underwhelming 16th place finish in the Championship last month, Stoke City will be aiming to push on next season under Nathan Jones.
Yet in order to build the foundations needed for success, it is imperative that the 46-year-old takes a hard look at his squad this summer before making any rash decisions in regards to selling players.
Considering the fact that Jones only took over at the bet365 Stadium in January, he would not have seen what certain individuals who were on loan elsewhere had to offer and therefore he could use pre-season to give them the opportunity to express themselves.
By doing this, the former Luton Town manager will be able see who is, and who isn’t, good enough to play in the second tier during the upcoming campaign and thus avoid making any potential mistakes which could end up being very costly for Stoke.
Keeping this in mind, here are three players who we think need to have a big couple of months at the Potters in order to stand a chance of getting back into Stoke’s first-team plans…
A product of Stoke City’s youth academy, Tyrese Campbell featured on six occasions in all competitions for Stoke City last season before being loaned out to League One side Shrewsbury Town earlier this year.
During his short spell with the Shrews, the forward demonstrated a marked improvement in his consistency which suggests that he could still be on course to play a major role in Stoke’s immediate future.
Yet in order to convince Jones that he should stay in Staffordshire for the upcoming campaign to compete with the likes of Saido Berahino and Benik Afobe for the striker position, Campbell simply has to show what he is capable of during pre-season.
Once tipped to be the next big thing at Barcelona, it is fair to say that things haven’t exactly worked out for Bojan Krkic in recent seasons.
Although he still possesses an immense amount of talent, the fact that has only produced the goods on sporadic occasions during his time at Stoke suggests that he could very well be facing his last chance to impress this summer.
Whereas he has only featured on eight occasions since Jones took over in January, a solid pre-season showing could result in him becoming an integral member of the Potters’ plans for the upcoming campaign.
Signed for a fee reported to be in the region of £18m (via BBC Sport) in 2017, Kevin Wimmer was expected to be the player to take Stoke to new heights.
Yet unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case for the Austrian as he lost his place in the team following a number of sub-par performances last year and ended up being shipped out on loan for the 2018/19 campaign to Hannover 96.
Whereas he did end up making 22 appearances in the Bundesliga for Die Roten, he was unable to prevent them from being relegated in May and is expected to return to Staffordshire later this month (via Transfermarkt).
Although he has not shown anywhere near the levels of performance which saw him shine at times at Tottenham Hotspur for Stoke, a strong pre-season may result in Wimmer being given a second chance to impress by Jones.