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 Michael O’Neill is close to making his first signing at the Bet365 Stadium,with Blackpool midfielder Jordan Thompson poised to become his first recruit bar any last minute hitches, according to a report by Football Insider.
Thompson, 23, is a versatile midfielder who is left-footed and who has been earmarked as competition for Sam Clucas while he can also operate as a number 10.
So would Thompson be a good addition at the Potters? Is he needed?
“It’s the sort of signing that Stoke need to be making.
“He’s not a big-name arrival and you could forgive the fans if they were feeling a bit underwhelmed, however O’Neill needs to oversee wholesale changes and that means changing the culture at the club.
“Therefore, bringing in younger, hungry players is the way forward and Thompson fits into that category.
“He will give his all for the club, be desperate to prove himself in the Championship and he is a player that the manager obviously knows well from his time with Northern Ireland. O’Neill’s judgement needs to be trusted on this one.”
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“I like the look of this.
“Thompson looks like the right sort of player that Stoke should be targeting this month, as Michael O’Neill looks to shape his squad in his image, and the 23-year-old is at the right age for the Potters to develop over the next few years.
“Stoke are in need of potentially adding to their midfield options, with the Potters having already allowed Badou Ndiaye and Peter Etebo to leave the club, while Joe Allen and Ryan Woods could also potentially leave before the end of the transfer window.
“The midfielder has been in good form for Blackpool so far this campaign in League One, becoming a key part of Simon Grayson’s side, and he has shown he has the potential to play at a higher level over the next few years, suggesting a move to Stoke could be the right one for him to show he can perform in the Championship.
“Stoke will be needing to somewhat alter their approach in the transfer market with the Potters now having to let some of their highest earners leave the club, and Thompson is the right sort of addition that will not command large wages but has a lot of room to develop his quality on the pitch.”
“This could prove to be a shrewd addition by Stoke if they can complete a deal for Thompson before the end of the January transfer window.
“A talented midfielder, the 23-year-old has made significant strides in terms of his development since joining Blackpool in 2018 from Rangers.
“An ever-present in the Tangerines’ starting eleven, Thompson’s outstanding consistency has helped his side achieve a relatively positive start to the season in League One.
“Providing that the midfielder is able to adapt to life in the Championship, there is no reason why he cannot play a key role in Stoke’s battle for survival over the coming months.”