Stoke City have experienced an extremely underwhelming start to the 2019/20 campaign in the Championship under the guidance of manager Nathan Jones.
Despite signing 10 players in the summer, the Potters currently find themselves bottom of the second-tier having only managed to pick up five points from their opening 11 fixtures.
Whilst Stoke did illustrate some signs of promise in their 2-1 victory over Swansea City last weekend, it is imperative that they use the momentum gained from this result to push on over the coming months as a failure to do so could result in relegation next May.
Jones, who was handed over the reins at the bet365 Stadium in January, allowed a plethora of players to leave the club during the summer transfer window.
One of those who made a temporary exit from the Potters was Harry Souttar, who rejoined Fleetwood Town on a season-long loan following a brief spell at Highbury Stadium last season.
Despite moving to Stoke in 2016, the 20-year-old has only featured on two occasions for the club due to the presence of fellow defenders Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi.
Here, in our latest spotlight article, we assess whether Souttar has a future at Stoke by taking a closer look at his statistics for Fleetwood this season.
Having played a total of 998 minutes of action for Fleetwood so far this year, it is safe to say that Souttar is very much a mainstay in Joey Barton’s side.
With 11 appearances to his name in all competitions, the Australian is unquestionably benefiting from being able to play week-in, week-out for the Trawlermen.
A fantastic reader of the game, Souttar has made 66 interceptions during the 2019/20 campaign whilst he has also won 70.2% of his defensive duels.
Providing that he can continue to perform to such a high standard for the rest of his loan spell at Fleetwood, there is no reason why he cannot challenge for a starting role at Stoke next season.
Given that he has won just 67.1% of his aerial duels, Souttar will be wanting to improve this particular facet of his game during his time in League One before returning to the bet365 Stadium.
Extremely confident with the ball at his feet, Souttar has registered a pass success rate of 82.8% during the opening two months of the season.
Clearly capable of dictating the tempo of games from the heart of defence, the former Ross County loanee could add something different to Stoke’s back four.
When you consider that the defender has also found the back of the net on one occasion this season, it could be argued that the Potters simply have to give him the chance to prove himself next year.