Stoke City have had a positive start to the season, with Michael O’Neill’s side fifth in the table heading into the international break.
As well as that, a productive summer window was topped off by the capture of Abdallah Sima on a season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.
With the Potters chief operating under a budget, he will surely be very satisfied with how he has strengthened the squad, whilst the fans will be pleased with how the group is looking as well.
However, even though Stoke aren’t desperate for new recruits, that doesn’t mean they should turn down any good opportunities that are out there.
Here we look at SIX free agents that O’Neill could consider if he wants to strengthen his squad further…
The defender did reasonably well for Sheffield United last season when he was given a chance, and he was wanted by Middlesbrough and West Brom at different stages of the summer.
That suggests Bryan is seen as a good option at this level, so he would be a decent addition for Stoke. With O’Neill opting for a back three, he may need more defensive cover over the course of the season and Bryan would provide that. Plus, at 24, he could be a smart addition in the long-term.
The Championship is a tough slog, so it can be crucial to have players who can play in multiple positions – which Brady can do.
Capable in central midfield in a three, as a wing-back or even further up the pitch, the former Burnley man would be a useful addition because of his versatility.
They may need to act swiftly though, as it has been suggested he could be on the move to Turkey.
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O’Neill has a few options in central midfield but Diame could bring something different in that he has the ability to run beyond players with his physicality, and he’s also good on the ball.
His age would be a worry, at 34, but O’Neill has shown in the past he will give experienced players a chance and bringing in a promotion-winner won’t do any harm.
The 30-year-old has previous Championship experience with Brentford and Birmingham, and even though he struggled with the latter, he was outstanding for the Bees at times.
Of course, that’s a long time ago, but O’Neill would back himself to get the best out of the creative talent. If he could rediscover those levels, he would clearly be an asset to Stoke as they can sometimes lack inspiration in the final third.
Another player who could bring that spark in the final third is Mirallas. The Belgian is capable of playing in various attacking positions and he has shown over the years that he can be a classy operator.
At 33, he’s obviously past his best but he still had a decent record in the Turkish top-flight last season. On a free and a short-term deal, it could be a risk worth taking.
The signing of Sima means that Stoke aren’t in desperate need for a new forward but Sturridge has excellent pedigree.
The former England international is looking for a new club and seems desperate to prove himself. Again, you would back O’Neill to be the type of boss that can get Sturridge firing and if he can stay fit, he would definitely give the team a different type of player in the final third.
His fitness issues are a worry but on a short-term deal it may be a risk worth taking.