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 could be faced with the very difficult prospect of having to potentially replace Harry Souttar in the near future as interest mounts in the defender.
Recent reports have revealed that Souttar is attracting interest from the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa as the Potters potentially face a real battle to keep hold of him in the long-term.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, via Daily Record, Stoke are amongst a group of sides that are interested in making a potential move for Hearts defender John Souttar.
The 25-year-old is the older brother of Stoke’s Souttar and it could be that the Potters are eyeing him up as a potential option to replace his sibling if he leaves in the near future.
The Potters are believed to be facing a lot of competition for Hearts’ Souttar with Blackburn Rovers also being credited with an interest, so it will not be an easy deal to pull off.
So with Stoke interested in signing Souttar from Hearts, we asked our FLW writers whether they feel he would be a good signing for the Potters to make…
They have a decent number of options at centre-back as things stand, but the departure of Harry Souttar could easily give older brother John a chance to take his place at the bet365 Stadium.
His injury record in recent years has to be questioned, so this is something that would need to be monitored during the potential medical, but he’s performed admirably at Dundee United and current club Hearts and has a decent number of games under his belt in the Scottish top tier.
He may not be a major attacking threat in the box, but his defensive work has to take priority and a man of his experience and expertise should be able to fit in alongside the likes of Ben Wilmot and Leo Ostigard seamlessly.
The Potters may splash out on a more expensive centre-back if Harry Souttar leaves, something they aren’t afraid to do when making a big sale as shown by the Sam Surridge signing, but he could be a cheap option in case the likes of James Chester and Danny Baath leave the club.
And at 25, he could be a long-term signing for Michael O’Neill’s men, so this deal is certainly one to pursue if they don’t want to spend heavily on a replacement for brother Harry.
Only a true expert on Stoke City will get these 27 Potters’ quiz questions correct
John Souttar has only played 17 league games since the start of the 2019/20 season and therefore is not a proven force in Scottish football. Therefore, at 25 years old it would definitely be a poor signing for a Championship club with promotion ambitions on paper.
There is the link with his brother Harry Souttar currently thriving at the bet365 Stadium but the Potters have the depth at centre back to not need to recruit another one in January.
The three-time Scotland international has not established himself in the first team at Hearts so it would be a long shot for him to do it at Stoke. If his brother was not at the club a rumour like this would probably not come about, not a good potential signing and no he is not needed.
This must be up there with one of the strangest situations in the EFL in recent memory with John Souttar potentially taking his younger brother’s place, if he ends up in the Premier League in January.
Defensively strong and with an intelligent mind, Souttar is an excellent centre-back who is thriving with Hearts at present.
He is also a player who has grown in confidence with the ball at his feet and he can keep his composure, even with players rushing at him and pressing.
Souttar’s a threat in both boxes as well, proving to be dominant in his final third, whilst causing chaos in attacking scenarios.
Souttar is part of a backline who possess the best defensive record this season, conceding five all campaign.
The 25-year-old is certainly someone who can impress in the Championship, and it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.