Stoke City assistant manager Dean Holden is hopeful of bringing in a ‘couple’ of further signings during the summer transfer window, he revealed to the Stoke Sentinel.
The Potters have already been busy in this summer’s transfer window, recruiting Ben Wilmot, Jack Bonham and Mario Vrancic, although their most high-profile signing of the summer so far has to be Sam Surridge, who arrived in Staffordshire last week for a reported £5.5m fee.
They have made sacrifices this summer though, with Nathan Collins moving to Burnley for an eight-figure fee and another key player in John Obi Mikel linking up with Kuwait SC in what was an unexpected blow for Michael O’Neill at the start of last month.
Quiz: Do you remember which player scored Stoke City’s first goal in each of the last 15 seasons?
Along with the duo and the likes of Sam Vokes and Lee Gregory, senior wingers James McClean and Tom Ince are both set to leave the club before the end of August after previously being left out of manager O’Neill’s pre-season training camp to Northern Ireland.
With this, former captain Ryan Shawcross has called on the club to recruit a couple of wingers to bolster their ranks – and the centre-back’s prayers may just be answered in the next few weeks with assistant manager Holden hinting at more summer additions.
In an interview with the Stoke Sentinel, Holden said: “We’ve got a real good group of players at the minute who have got great team spirit who are all looking good in training, all looking committed to how we want to play this season. There’s lots of good work going on behind the scenes.
“The analysis team, for example, and we’ve got a recruitment team as well who are working really hard in the background to hopefully get another couple of deals over the line.
“The manager wants to have a squad which can obviously compete at the top end of the table. To do that you need good players in positions where if you do get a couple of injuries you’re not too affected.
“It’s always a challenge because there’s not many very good players available and most of the clubs are chasing the same players.
“We’ve got a good squad already but we are hoping to add one or two bits of quality – and they have to be real quality – to come in and affect the team and the squad. Hopefully we can do that before the window shuts.”
Although they might be on the prowl for new wide men to link up with the club, one player they won’t be signing is Rabbi Matondo, who spent the second half of last term in Staffordshire but will be linking up with Belgian side Cercle Brugge on a temporary spell despite previous interest from the Potters.
After freshening things up with the signing of Surridge to replace Vokes and Gregory, now is the time for them to replicate this in the wide positions as Ince and McClean look set for the exit door.
Although it’s not completely his fault, Ince is a symbol of a failed summer of spending back in 2018 and after joining for a £10m fee from Huddersfield in that July, he’s failed to make the impact he would have wanted at the bet365 Stadium.
Speaking more generally, a couple of further signings are definitely necessary with the number of players who have left and the wing area a particular area of concern, so this news should come as a relief to Stoke City fans.
Leo Ostigard is set to be one of those additions.