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Michael O’Neill names priority areas in Stoke City recruitment pursuit



Stoke City have picked up four points from their opening two games this Championship season, with the Potters picking up a draw against Birmingham City yesterday.

The Staffordshire-based club began the new campaign with a 3-2 victory over Reading, before travelling to St Andrews and playing out a goalless draw.

Stoke have welcomed five fresh faces to the Bet365 Stadium over the summer, with four of the new arrivals gaining first-team minutes already.

Despite strengthening all across the pitch thus far, Michael O’Neill has not finished his transfer business just yet.

Speaking to StokeonTrent Live, the Northern Irishman outlined what positions the club are still trying to recruit for: “Hopefully we will have more than one first of all.

“I think we need something in the middle of the pitch, an option in midfield.

“I thought Tommy Smith was terrific and Josh Tymon played really well. So on the right-hand side (as competition or cover for Smith) and possibly another option through the middle. That’s where our focus is through the middle.

“We’re fine at the back, we’re fine on the left. Those are the key areas for us.”

Stoke are set to return to action in midweek, when they take on Swansea City, in what could potentially be a tricky test for O’Neill’s side.

The Verdict

Stoke have recruited very well thus far. Defensively speaking, the additions of Ben Wilmot and Leo Ostigard are very exciting, whilst Mario Vrancic is also proving himself.

Sam Surridge has also made a terrific start to life in Staffordshire, and he is already returning goals – a brilliant sign from a new recruit.

The Potters do seem to be lacking a powerful central midfielder at present, someone whose physicality and relentless work ethic will help win the midfield battle when the more technical-based players are not able to get on the ball as frequently.

Stoke have realistic promotion ambitions this season, and they are certainly building a side that can challenge for that. If they can add in positions they want to add to, there is no reason why they cannot be challenging come May.

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Article title: Michael O’Neill names priority areas in Stoke City recruitment pursuit

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