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 are reportedly interested in signing Fleetwood Town’s Jay Matete heading into the summer transfer window according to The Sun (2nd May, page 61).
Matete has been with Fleetwood Town since 2018 and has gone on to make 16 appearances in total for the League One side in all competitions.
He is currently out on loan with League Two side Grimsby Town, who have recently been relegated into the National League after a poor league campaign.
A move to the Potters could be tempting for Matete, with Michael O’Neill’s side currently sat 14th in the Championship table, and likely to be targeting a top-six finish in the 2021/22 season.
But would Matete be a good addition to the Stoke City squad heading into the summer transfer window?
Stoke seem to have put together a decent development squad with a clear pathway into the first team, so Matete could be a decent signing.
After playing a few games at the start of the season for Fleetwood, the midfielder stepped down a league to play for Grimsby Town on loan and an experience like that could have only developed him.
Obviously scoring three goals in his last four games will attract attention, especially at his age, but if he were to be signed by the Potters I couldn’t see him immediately going into the senior side.
There’s a bit of competition in that engine room for places so he’d have to bide his time, but I don’t think Matete would be the worst investment in the world.
Stoke City need to improve their options in the midfield area for sure in the summer transfer window, so this is a signing that would make some sense for the Potters.
Matete has shown some promising signs during his loan spell with Grimsby Town in league Two this season, and he is a player that does have a lot of potential to be developed over the coming years. The 20-year-old has qualities that could see him make the step up to a higher level, but he is still very raw.
Therefore, this is a signing that might be more beneficial for the Potters in the long-term, rather than for next season. The chances of Matete coming in and immediately establishing himself within their starting line-up are thin given he has not proven himself in the third tier as of yet with Fleetwood Town.
However, these are the types of players they are going to have to target in the long-term and develop them in their side so that they can maybe sell on and reinvest the money in their squad. So, this would be the right sort of profile of player to be trying to secure.
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Matete is a bright young prospect and it is completely understandable that Stoke hold an interest in signing him.
The Potters have gradually developed a policy of harvesting bright Football League talents at the Bet365 Stadium and Matete wouldn’t be the first to make such a move.
If they did sign him, he would almost inevitably head out on loan or be thrust into the club’s under-23s, so he may want to think twice before leaving Fleetwood.
It would be interesting to see if he decides to make the move at such a young age and I think it could go either way for him at this stage of his career with regards to if it proves successful or not.