After finishing in an underwhelming 16th position in the Championship last season, Stoke City will be hoping to enjoy a much more fruitful campaign next year under Nathan Jones.
Yet in order for the 46-year-old to have the best chance of achieving success at the bet365 Stadium, it is imperative that he launches a complete overhaul of his squad this summer.
With the Potters still having a vast number of players on their payroll from their time in the Premier League, they may have to prioritise offloading individuals before deciding to bring in some new additions during the transfer market.
Keeping this in mind, here are three men who we think Stoke should cut ties with as soon as possible…
Despite featuring in all but one of Stoke’s games in the Championship last season, Jack Butland could be one of the first players to leave this summer as he looks to resurrect his career after several years of stagnation.
According to The Sun, Aston Villa are reportedly interested in signing him and could be willing to splash out a £20m fee to secure his services.
If this is indeed true, the Potters should not even hesitate about getting rid of him as they could use the money to bolster their squad in other areas which will give them a great chance of achieving success during the 2019/20 campaign.
Signed for a reported fee of £21.83m (via Transfermarkt) from Porto in 2016, Giannelli Imbula arrived with a great deal of buzz surrounding him which in turn put him under a considerable amount of pressure to deliver the goods.
Although he did show fleeting signs of his talent during the early stages of his Stoke career, a worrying lack of consistency resulted in him being loaned out to Rayo Vallecano last summer.
Whilst in Spain, the midfielder struggled to make any inroads for Los Franjirrojas with a number sub-par performances resulting in him falling out of favour with manager Paco Jemez.
Given Imbula’s failures in Spain, it may be time for Stoke to move on the midfielder this summer as it is not guaranteed that he will be able to cope in the Championship next season.
With Saido Berahino’s performances for Stoke since joining the club in 2017 leaving a lot to be desired, it may now be time for Jones to make a definitive decision on the future of the forward.
Very much a bit-part player for the Potters last season, the 25-year-old only managed to find the back of the net on three occasions in 23 Championship games and was eventually left out of the squad altogether for the final 14 games of the year.
Given Berahino’s terrible form in-front of goal, Stoke should be looking to offload him this summer as it would free up some of their budget to bring in a player who is proven at second-tier level as a replacement.