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Josh Laurent speaks out on tactical preference at Stoke City

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Josh Laurent has swapped Reading for Stoke City this summer and will be hoping to compete towards the top end of the Championship with the Potters.

The 27-year-old made 41 league starts for the Royals in 2021/22, in a huge variety of central positions, and will be expected to play as crucial a role as the Potters look to throw their names into the promotion mix.

Lewis Baker, Jordan Thompson, Sam Clucas, Gavin Kilkenny, Peter Etebo and Laurent make up the midfield contingent ahead of the new season, and it will be interesting to monitor what the 27-year-old’s role is within that, after a helter-skelter season at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Laurent explained what he sees as his best position when he spoke to StokeonTrentLive.

He said: “Probably in between a holding midfielder and an eight, a sort of box to box with a lot of energy.

“I like to help the defence out, make tackles, stick my foot in and break play up.

“I also like to drive forward with the ball, link up with front players and get into the box and make a nuisance of myself.

“I think I’ve still got a lot to learn in the final third and I’ve got to get better at position making.

“I do like being a box-to-box player or holding midfield but I did play about 10 positions at Reading.

“I played number 10 towards the end of the season.

“I don’t think Paul Ince saw me as a 10 but he thought that was what was needed at that point to help the team.

“I also played centre-back, striker…”

It will be a very different environment to the nerve-shredding atmosphere at Reading at times last season, with the Potters looking to build a more credible top six push than they were able to last term.

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Laurent has shown himself to be one of the best players in his position in the division in the last couple of seasons, despite 2021/22 coming with its individual challenges with the Royals.

If the former Shrewsbury Town man can build a positive relationship with Jordan Thompson in defensive midfield, the Potters should be able to provide a firm base for the likes of Lewis Baker and Nick Powell to express themselves in the final third.

Laurent’s versatility should provide useful flexibility for Michael O’Neill, if Stoke choose to move away from a three at the back system at any point during the campaign.


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Article title: Josh Laurent speaks out on tactical preference at Stoke City

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