Stoke City are looking to offer experienced striker Lyle Taylor a way out of Nottingham Forest this summer, according to the Daily Mirror.
Football League World sources were told that Forest were set to put the 31-year-old on the loan list after scoring just four times in 39 outings in his first season at the City Ground, and he was only used as a substitute for the majority of the second half of the season.
Despite last season’s record, Taylor is seemingly of interest to the Potters, who will be looking to bolster their strike-force whilst also trying to rid of the likes of Sam Vokes and Benik Afobe.
How would Taylor fit into Michael O’Neill’s side though – would he be a guaranteed starter at the bet365 Stadium?
It firstly depends on what system the Northern Irishman is going to use to start the season – his two most used systems in 2020-21 were a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-5-2 – and if Steven Fletcher is fit then he may be the lone striker once again in the first formation, however Fletcher is 34 years old now and Taylor could be a more reliable starting player.
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A 4-2-3-1 will also be most beneficial to Tyrese Campbell when he returns from his knee injury – he can play as a striker in a two but he’s far more effective cutting in from the right wing and a 3-5-2 formation wouldn’t allow him to do that.
With the rumours linking Rabbi Matondo back on another loan deal to Stoke as well it would make sense if O’Neill was opting to go for a 4-2-3-1 next season, but that would mean that Taylor probably starts as a substitute.
However Taylor would fit into a 3-5-2 where he could partner Fletcher up-front, with the creativity of Nick Powell in behind but there’s not a lot of pace in that trio which would perhaps be a cause for concern.
Stoke probably need a pacey striker ideally rather than someone like Taylor – a bigger man who comes alive in the 18 yard box – but if he’s an alternative option to Fletcher then it could be a good deal for O’Neill to pursue.