Stoke City are preparing for their fifth season since relegation from the Premier League this summer, and the Potters are yet to achieve a top six finish in that time.
Michael O’Neill is under pressure in the dugout following a very disappointing second half to the 2021/22 campaign, but has began laying the foundations for Stoke to put together a more credible top six push in 2022/23.
Josh Laurent, Aden Flint and Harry Clarke have arrived already this summer, without a transfer fee being required for any of the trio, the former two reached the end of their contracts at Reading and Cardiff City, and the latter has arrived on loan from Arsenal.
Here, we have put together Stoke’s best XI as things stand ahead of 2022/23, do you agree?
O’Neill was stubborn in his use of a three at the back system last season, but in order to accommodate the number of exciting attacking players in the squad, switching to a back four could be advisable.
Peter Etebo, Sam Clucas and Mario Vrancic do not make the XI but could be heavily involved in the campaign nonetheless, while Joe Allen misses out as he looks poised to return to Swansea City, as per The Telegraph’s John Percy.
Literally 99% of Stoke City supporters should be scoring 28/28 on this Potters quiz – Can you?
Harry Souttar has not yet fully recovered from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for the majority of last term, suggesting there is a chance that Aden Flint or Phil Jagielka may start the season as first choice at the heart of defence.
Laurent comes straight into the starting XI and should become a dependable player in combination with Lewis Baker in central areas, the latter and Chelsea academy graduate looked like one of the best midfielders in the division after arriving in January.