This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Stoke City manager Nathan Jones will be looking for an immediate reaction following an opening day Championship defeat, but in response may look to add to his ranks before the transfer window closes, with Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi a target, according to a report from Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad.
Elyounoussi, 25, has been at St Mary’s since June 2018, having previously played for Sarpsborg 08, Molde and Basel, making 16 appearances in the Premier League last season.
So would Elyounoussi prove a good addition at the bet365 Stadium this season?
“It’s not worked out at Southampton for the player but he has energy and he still has plenty of time to really prove himself so I wouldn’t worry too much if I were him.
“Stoke clearly feel as though they want some fresh drive from midfield and he can certainly provide that so it remains to be seen just whether or not Stoke can get this deal done.
“A loan is low risk too.”
“This could be a decent signing for Stoke. Even though he struggled to make an impact for Southampton last season, Elyounoussi is still a decent player and I think he’s more than capable of making an impact in the Championship.
“He will be determined to prove himself after his disappointing season with Southampton and will provide Stoke with more intensity in midfield. He probably isn’t going to get much of a chance at St Mary’s this season either, so could be tempted by a move away.
“Stoke could do with some more depth in midfield, so Elyounoussi could be a decent signing. It would have to be considered a bit of a risk due to his lack of experience in English football, but the fact that it would be a loan reduces that risk significantly.”
“His record doesn’t suggest this is a good signing, but I’m inclined to think it might be.
“He’s got great international pedigree, plenty of football at all levels for Norway. His Southampton spell hasn’t been the best, but there is evidence he’s flexible when it comes to adapting. A Moroccan winger playing for Norway having been in the UK for a year? That’s adaptable.
“His huge fee seems to have weighed heavily on his shoulders but I think there is a quality player here waiting to get out. Coupled with him only being 25, this seems a good move for Stoke.
“They might be unearthing a real gem.”